Protect Antarctica Before It's Too Late
2020-11-20

I am one of the newly appointed research fellows at the School of Biological Sciences. Before joining the University of Aberdeen, I was lucky enough to participate in a ground-breaking, global leadership initiative, set against the backdrop of Antarctica, which aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in making decisions that shape our planet, the Homeward Bound Project. This was not only a fascinating experience; it has also allowed me to establish collaborations with researchers worldwide.  

 

As a result of that, I recently co-authored a commentary article published in Nature calling for the immediate protection of the peninsula’s marine environment, through the designation of a marine protected area.  But why should we care about it? We need to protect the waters around the Antarctic Peninsula – before it is too late.  

 

Antarctica, the world’s last true wilderness, has been protected by an international treaty for the last 60 years. But the same isn’t true for most of the ocean surrounding it.  

 

The Western Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost part of the continent and one of its most biodiverse regions, is particularly vulnerable. It faces the cumulative threats of commercial krill fishing, tourism, research infrastructure expansion and climate change. 

 

The proposed MPA is an excellent example of balancing environmental protection with commercial interests. The area would be split into two zones. The first is designed to protect key wildlife and mitigate specific threats from fishing. The second is a krill fishery zone, allowing for a precautionary management approach to commercial fishing. 

 

Our call came ahead of a meeting of the international group responsible for establishing marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean. We urged the group to protect the region, because delays could be disastrous. Unfortunately, the protection of the waters of around the Antarctic Peninsula will have to wait until next year’s meeting.  

 

In the meantime, you can also help supporting the protection of the waters around the Antarctic Peninsula by signing the Southern Ocean Coalition petition and spreading the word through your networks. Follow us on social media: @Antarctica_NOW 

 

This blog post is a summary of The Conversation piece published last October. 

Published by The School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen

Search Blog

Browse by Month

2023

  1. Jan
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2023
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2023
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2023
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2023
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2023
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2023
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2023
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2023
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2023
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2023
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2023

2022

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2022
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2022
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2022
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2022
  10. Oct
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2022
  12. Dec

2021

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2021
  9. Sep
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2021
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2021

2020

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2020
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2020
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2020
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec