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To protect Antarctica’s Southern Ocean and guarantee the greatest act of ocean protection in history
Meet the group
Antarctica contains about 90% of the world’s ice and around 70% of the planet’s fresh water; both are vulnerable to warming air and waters. Antarctic sea ice is melting faster than ever (tripling in the past 5 years) as a result of global warming.
Changes in sea-ice coverage are affecting the marine ecosystem in profound ways, including the dramatic decline of Antarctic krill, a keystone species in the Antarctic food web. In addition to the impacts of climate change, increased pressure from industrial fishing are adding environmental pressures, making it harder for predators to find food.
The latest science is telling us that to regenerate Ocean life and build the resilience of its ecosystems and wildlife to climate change we need to create marine protected areas (MPAs) covering at least 30% of the Ocean by 2030.
MPAs provide protection for marine life, building resilience and helping alleviate the negative impacts of the climate crisis by removing additional stressors, such as fishing. They also provide important scientific reference areas to facilitate monitoring the impacts of fisheries and climate change on polar regions.
The protection of the Southern Ocean is a defining issue for our time, and it can help bring countries together.Protecting large Antarctic marine areas will boost Ocean protection by an order of magnitude greater than anything achieved before. We have a once-in-a-generation chance to do things differently.
Bottom: Patagonia sea lion
Photo credit: Kelvin Trautman
Above: Adélie Penguin on an iceberg.
Photo credit: Kelvin Trautman
International meeting on Antarctic ocean protection ends with no further progress
Special MPA Meeting - ASOC Closing Press Release Two countries thwart the will of the remaining twenty-five to create a system of marine protected areas Santiago Chile, June 23 2023: Members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) were unable to reach consensus on the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs) at a special meeting ...
Spirit of international cooperation put to the test at Antarctic meeting
Helsinki, 8 June 2023: An international Antarctic meeting in Helsinki ended this week with environmental organizations expressing frustration that the outcomes do not reflect the magnitude of the climate and biodiversity crises currently facing the region. The 45th Antarctic Treaty Consultative meeting (ATCM) addressed climate issues and the protection of key species, but saw little progress towards a robust adoption ...