The Southern Ocean, which encircles Antarctica and is generally defined as extending north to the 60th parallel, is the fourth largest ocean, unique in that it touches no other landmass except Antarctica. In the icy blue waters of the Southern Ocean, there is a dazzling array of life. Penguins, whales, toothfish, and krill thrive there, and upwelling currents from the ocean’s depths supply nutrients that support three-fourths of world’s marine life. A half-century ago, countries agreed to declare Antarctica a place of peace and science. A similar agreement would help protect the seas surrounding Antarctica.
By the numbers
1 millionpairs of Adélie penguins in the Ross Sea area of the Southern Ocean
16,000 estimated number of species living in
66% share of penguin species considered threatened