How to protect Antarctica's marine life

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What is CCAMLR, and how can it protect the penguins, seals, whales, and other animals that live in Antarctica? Our whiteboard animation explains.

At the height of the Cold War, countries came together to protect Antarctica as a place of peace and science. Unfortunately, the surrounding waters of the Southern Ocean were not protected.

With no protections in place, fishing for tiny krill—the keystone of the Antarctic food web—increased dramatically. In response, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was created in 1980. Its mandate was simple: to conserve Antarctic marine life.

Despite that mission, promises to create marine reserves and protected areas in Southern Ocean waters have gone unfulfilled, even as climate change and industrial fishing increasingly threaten vulnerable areas such as the Ross Sea.

But it isn’t too late to make good. CCAMLR must act now to create marine reserves and show the world that it is serious about protecting the most pristine and special place on the planet.

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