The waters that surround Antarctica – the Southern Ocean – are of global importance due to its immense wilderness and ecological value within the Earth system, including the major roles it plays in climate regulation and carbon storage.
Yet, these extensive global values of the Southern Ocean are under imminent threat by a combination of climate change and commercial fishing.
We the undersigned scientists and conservation professionals assert that allowing fishing to continue in its current form is increasingly unsustainable, and harms the greater ecosystem with benefits captured by a few wealthy nations and little contribution to food security.
In the face of increasing climate change impacts, stronger management action in the Southern Ocean is required now.
We call for:
- managing for ecological and climate resilience
- implementing marine protection immediately
- considering the full suite of values for future generations
- if above actions are not carried forward, a moratorium on Southern Ocean fishing, until these stronger management measures are in place