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

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  • Pew Commends 2 New States Joining the Port State Measures Agreement

    WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts praised last week’s news that Namibia and Peru have joined the Port State Measures Agreement, the first binding international treaty designed to stop illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. The news came as leaders from more than 100 countries convened Oct. 5-6 at the Our Ocean conference in Malta to discuss maritime security, marine... Read More

  • A Proposal to Fully Protect the South Sandwich Islands

    South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) sit about 4,000 kilometres north of Antarcticaand 2,700 kilometres east of South America in the South Atlantic Ocean. In 2012, the United Kingdomestablished a sustainable use marine protected area (MPA) around these largely uninhabited islands tomanage the local fishery and protect the globally significant wildlife. Read More

  • More Tuna Isn’t Always Better

    Today, when fishing nations negotiate catch quotas for Atlantic and Pacific bluefin tuna, they generally assume that more fishing is always better for the industry. However, a new study underscores what producers of other commodities, such as corn or oil, already know: Increased global supply can mean less revenue. In this case, those who fish for these valuable bluefin species would make less... Read More