A couple weeks ago the newly formed Antarctic Ocean Alliance, which are partners with the Last Ocean, formally launched a bold campaign: a network of 19 marine protected areas throughout the Southern Ocean with the Ross Sea as the Crown Jewel. Last Ocean’s Peter Young presented at the launch in Wellington, NZ to show support for AOA and to stress the importance of ensuring a Ross Sea MPA is on the table at the upcoming CCAMLR meeting this fall.
Indeed, CCAMLR has a window of opportunity to show bold leadership to protect the Ross Sea. The management body is made up of 24 countries and the EU, but it meets with limited public participation and has no media access. Yet it holds the fate of almost 10% of the world’s oceans in its hands, including the Ross Sea – the Last Ocean. We need to rally the world’s attention, gather support, and show the CCAMLR delegates we want this unique environment protected.
AOA, an Alliance of 15 organizations which includes the Last Ocean, is helping us do just that. Together, we are calling for the Ross Sea to become part of the world’s largest network of no-take marine reserves and marine protected areas in the ocean around Antarctica. We need the world’s public to get actively involved in helping to make this happen.
Supporting the Antarctic Ocean Alliance are actor and UN Biodiversity Ambassador Ed Norton, entrepreneur Richard Branson and Oceanographer Sylvia Earle. Together we are calling on the public to “Join our Watch” of the body that regulates Antarctica’s waters. We believe public action is needed if we are to convince CCAMLR to make the right decision and agree to large-scale protection that means key eco-systems will not be open to fishing or development.
If you haven’t already, visit www.lastocean.co.nz and become a Friend of the Last Ocean, Sign our Petition in support of a Ross Sea MPA, follow us on Facebook, and, if you can, make a donation. Please also join the Antarctic Ocean Alliance, “Join the Watch” at www.antarcticocean.org, sign the petition for a network of Southern Ocean MPAs and ask others to take action. Thanks for your support!