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
    Southern Ocean

  • 66% share of penguin species considered threatened

Our Work

View All
  • Bringing Bluefin Back

    The three species of bluefin tuna that travel across enormous swaths of the world’s temperate oceans have gained legendary status among fishermen for their size, speed, power, and remarkable migrations. Atlantic, Pacific, and southern bluefin can weigh hundreds of pounds, swim more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) per hour, and live up to 40 years. Read More

  • As Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapses, CCAMLR Should Act to Protect Ecosystems

    Any day now on the Antarctic Peninsula, 10 percent of the Larsen C ice shelf will calve off and form one of the biggest icebergs ever recorded on the planet, estimated at 3,100 square miles—almost the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Scientists with Project MIDAS have been tracking a rift on the shelf for the past two years and announced June 28 that the shelf is... Read More

  • The Ocean Conference

    Life on Earth depends heavily on its magnificent and complex ocean ecosystems, but the health of the marine environment is declining. In response, the United Nations will host The Ocean Conference June 5-9 in New York. Read More