Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Our Far South voyage to highlight threatened pristine ocean

WWF-New Zealand press release – for immediate release


Our Far South voyage to highlight pristine ocean under threat

Our Far South, a voyage to Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic Islands, will set sail tomorrow ( Fri 10 Feb) to highlight the global importance of this last great unspoiled wilderness and the urgent need to protect it from growing human-made threats.

WWF-New Zealand’s marine advocate Bob Zuur will be joining scientists and other Antarctic experts for the month long voyage organised by philanthropist Gareth Morgan, seeking to raise New Zealanders’ awareness of the area and inspire people to speak out to protect this vital marine ecosystem.

Bob Zuur said: “Antarctica’s Southern Ocean is famed for its majestic isolation and magnificent wildlife including Emperor penguins, Albatross, Ross Sea Killer whales and colossal squid. It is also of global importance to humanity.

“Antarctica is a critical laboratory for the study of climate change, and in a rapidly warming world it is vital we paid heed to the story it tells.”

The Southern Ocean’s Ross Sea, which lies about 3500 km from New Zealand at the edge of the Antarctic continent, is renowned by scientists as one of the most significant remaining large marine ecosystems with its top predators still intact.

WWF will be using the voyage to highlight the growing threats facing this important polar region, which include overfishing, tourism, shipping and climate change. Mining and oil exploration also pose potential future threats to the region.

“This almost pristine marine environment will not stay this way for long unless there is a coordinated international effort to protect it. Current measures are not enough to stem the tide of human activities that threaten this great southern wilderness,” said WWF’s Marine Programme Manager Rebecca Bird.

“By creating a network of Southern Ocean marine protected areas we can help fish stocks and other species – from sea bed crabs through krill to giant whales – recover. The Ross Sea shelf, slope and wider region should be designated a marine reserve, and we urge the New Zealand Government to play a central role in international negotiations around Antarctica later this year.”

The New Zealand Government is a signatory to the Commission to the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) which will meet in Hobart in October. WWF will be advocating for a strong international commitment to protecting most, if not all, of the Ross Sea.

Ends


Notes to editors

The Spirit of Enderby departs from Bluff on 10 February, and returns to Lyttelton Harbour on 9 March.

The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR, www.ccamlr.org) came into force in 1982, as part of the Antarctic Treaty System. It was established mainly in response to concerns that an increase in krill catches in the Southern Ocean could have a serious effect on populations of krill and other animals such as birds, seals and fish. The aim of the Convention is to conserve marine life of the Southern Ocean.

Organisations represented on the voyage include: Antarctica New Zealand, NIWA, VUW Antarctic Research Centre, GNS Science, University of Otago, Te Papa, Sanford, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Conservation, and the Island Bay Marine Education Centre.

Follow the Our Far South project online at www.ourfarsouth.org and at www.wwf.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Super Fund/Canada Bid v NZTA: Tow Preferred Bidders For Auckland Light Rail

The two preferred delivery partners for Auckland light rail have been chosen and a final decision on who will build this transformational infrastructure will be made early next year, Minister of Transport Phil Twyford announced. More>>

ALSO:

9.3 Percent: Gender Pay Gap Unchanged Since 2017

“While it has remained flat since 2017, the gender pay gap has been trending down since the series began in 1998, when it was 16.2 percent,” labour market statistics manager Scott Ussher said. More>>

ALSO:

Ex-KPEX: Stuff Pulls Pin On Media Companies' Joint Ad-Buying Business

A four-way automated advertising collaboration between the country's largest media companies is being wound up after one of the four - Australian-owned Stuff - pulled the pin on its involvement as part of a strategic review of its operations ... More>>

Bus-iness: Transdev To Acquire More Auckland And Wellington Operations

Transdev Australasia today announced that it has agreed terms to acquire two bus operations in Auckland and Wellington, reaching agreement with Souter Investments to purchase Howick and Eastern Buses and Mana Coach Services. More>>

ALSO: