Antarctic Protection

JohnWeller011 Pengs hunting ECO web1

Help protect the Southern Ocean and the Ross Sea: A special place requiring special protection

The Ross Sea is a special place which is at risk from the impacts of fishing and the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.

ECO is supporting the protection of this special area. It is described as the last ocean as it is widely recognised as the only large ocean region on the earth which is the ecosystem is structured by natural rather than human forces. It has a rich biodiversity and it so far a relatively undisturbed place.

The Ross Sea slope and shelf and associated waters comprise just 2 percent of the Southern Ocean, they are home to an estimated:

  • 38 percent of the world’s Adelie penguin population
  • 26 percent of the world’s Emperor penguin population
  • 30 percent of the world’s Antarctic petrel population
  • 6 percent of the world’s Antarctic minke whale population
  • 45 percent of the world’s South pacific Weddell seal population
  • Over 40 species are found nowhere else

While New Zealand claims the Ross Sea as part of the Ross Dependency this claim is on hold due to the agreements of the Antarctic Treaty. This means that the Ross Sea is high seas and subject to the rules under the Antarctic Treaty system including the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

The Ross Sea slope and the shelf are deserving of full protection as a no-take marine reserve. This call has been endorsed by over 450 scientists from around the world.

What you can do

  1.  Join the Watch and Help the Antarctic Oceans Alliance Campaign to help protect the Southern Ocean.
  2. Find out more about the efforts of scientists to protect the Ross Sea can be found here.
  3. Go and see the Last Ocean Documentary at the upcoming film festival.

For more information see ASOC, Antarctic Oceans Alliance, or the Last Ocean, visit:

Photos : Thanks to John Weller, Antarctic alliance New Zealand