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
  • Winner in 2016 Penguin Election Calls for Antarctic Marine Reserves

    In a frenzied race that remained too close to call until its final hours, the emperor squeaked out a victory as this year’s most popular penguin species! Facing stiff competition and relentless campaigning from six other types of penguins, the emperor prevailed with the popular vote. Because Antarctica and the Southern Ocean lack an electoral college, the race hinged on which of these... Read More

  • Macaroni Penguin Population on the Decline

    September is a time for back to school, the start of fall weather—and international environmental conferences. Major world leaders gathered throughout the month to focus on protecting our lands and oceans. Read More

  • 2016 Our Ocean Conference

    Secretary of State John Kerry will host the third annual Our Ocean conference in Washington from Sept. 15 and 16. Global leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and representatives from nongovernmental organizations will discuss the major challenges facing the world’s oceans and how to address them. Read More