By: Vance G. Martin
The great Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica is one of the planet’s most important marine habitats, upon which many of the other oceans, seas and marine wildlife depend. In October 2011, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) called for the creation of a network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves in 19 specific areas. A keystone in this plan is their proposal to designate the Ross Sea, the huge horseshoe shaped area south of New Zealand and surrounded on three sides by Antarctica, as a 3.6 million sq kilometer protected marine reserve. This is an unprecedented opportunity to establish the world’s largest network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves. Sylvia (Earle) is one of the real movers in this Alliance and on this initiative, along with Edward Norton and Richard Branson. This is Nature Needs Half in action and everyone can help! AOA has created a “Join the Watch” campaign, and you can sign on now, download the report and see a great video here.