How fisheries and marine protection can coexist in the Southern Ocean

How fisheries and marine protection can coexist in the Southern Ocean

Fishing and marine protection don’t seem like they should get along, but our latest report demonstrates that the ocean is big enough for the both of them. Three proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean are on the table as CCAMLR delegates meet in Hobart this week. In previous years, opponents have voiced concerns that these MPAs would impact fishing in the area, but our research shows that catches can continue at sustainable rates while protecting Antarctica’s rich and wild biodiversity.

The first proposed MPA, in waters off East Antarctica, is multi-use, meaning that activities, including fishing, will be allowed to take place so long as they don’t have a negative impact on the conservation or scientific objectives. Currently, toothfish catch in these waters is relatively low. Catches are relatively small and the impact on this fishing would be minimal. There has not been krill fishing in the area for more than 20 years because the density of krill in the area is up to 80 percent lower than other Antarctic waters. Even if the area was closed to krill fishing, there would still be opportunities to catch krill outside the MPA.

Proposed East Antarctica MPAs

The second proposed MPA in the Ross Sea, if adopted as is, would cover 1.5 million square kilometres of ocean, protecting a third of the world’s emperor penguins and around half of special type of killer whales living in the area.…

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PRESS RELEASE: Global Momentum to Protect the Antarctic Ocean Builds as International Talks Begin

Hobart, Australia, Monday October 17, 2016,: The Antarctic Ocean Alliance is calling on nations to secure the future of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean, at the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) currently meeting in Hobart, Australia.

This week, representatives from 25 governments are gathering in Hobart to address three proposed marine protected areas, amounting to more than five million square kilometers of Antarctic waters.…

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24 countries, dozens of organisations, and 80,000 supporters (including you!)


If the Antarctic Ocean Alliance was one animal it would be an Arctic tern.

This incredible little bird recently made the longest-ever recorded migration. It flew from the Arctic, via Africa to Antarctica’s Weddell Sea and then all the way back again. In just under a year, it clocked up a whopping 100,000 kilometres – more than twice the circumference of the planet.…

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The World’s Last Great Wilderness


Exactly 25 years ago on October 4, 1991, countries signed the Madrid Protocol to protect Antarctica’s environment.

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We are close

Orca, Killer whale, near the Esperanza, Ross Sea.Southern Ocean Whaling 2007.&copy Dave Walsh

Mike Walker, Project Director, Antarctic Ocean Alliance

Just a few weeks away from the annual meeting in Hobart of the the Commission for the Conservation of Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the signs of getting a result are looking positive. We could be on the verge of a win for the Southern Ocean.…

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Inside meeting reveals Russia’s new commitment to the environment

Blue Iceberg

Mike Walker, Antarctic Ocean Alliance, Project Director 

Earlier in September, UNEP Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, met with Sergei Ivanov, President’s Putin special representative on the environment and ecology. It was a warm and constructive meeting during which they discussed the exciting plans and opportunities for Russia’s Year of Ecology, 2017. …

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Make a Splash for Antarctica with Richard Branson

Humpback copyright Dave Walsh

Governments and NGOs vote to support Antarctic marine reserves

Photo: Christopher Michel

Protection of Antarctica’s marine environment received overwhelming support at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress today when over 100 government members voted in favour of marine reserves in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean.

It comes just days after President Obama announced the expansion of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument to create the largest protected ecological area on the planet, and Russia created a large marine reserve around Franz Josef Land.…

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What happens when hundreds of Antarctic scientists get together?

Female scientists celebrate over 100 articles being uploaded to Wikipedia as part of an Antarctic Women Wikibomb.

We asked AOA’s Dr. Ricardo Roura to give some insight into last week’s Open Science Conference, SCAR, in Kuala Lumpur. This is his take on the world’s biggest gathering of Antarctic scientists, #SCAR2016.

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Is Antarctica the most beautiful place on Earth?

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 9.43.59 am

This is the third in a series of dispatches by Ryan Dolan, a member of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ global penguin conservation campaign, who has joined a team of Southern Ocean experts on a research expedition to the Antarctic—in the middle of winter. Pew is a member of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance.…

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