A keystone prey species in the Southern Ocean is retreating towards the Antarctic because of climate change. Krill are small, shrimp-like creatures that swarm in vast numbers and form a major part of the diets of whales, penguins, seabirds, seals and fish. Scientists say warming conditions in recent decades have led to the krill contracting pole-ward.
The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has again failed to take action to protect the Southern Ocean, with no progress made on the critical issues of marine protected areas, climate change, and transshipment.
A large iceberg in Antarctica has calved off the Larsen C ice shelf as of July last year and budged only a little from the coast until recently. In the past two months, the iceberg, known as 'A68', has taken a drastic 90 degree swing away from the Antarctic mainland and into the Southern Ocean.
Australia has intercepted in the Southern Ocean the fishing vessel Perlon, believed to have been operating under a false flag in defiance of international conventions, according to an official report from the Ministry of Immigration and Border Protection.
The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund (AWR) issued this week its first call for proposals, inviting applications from scientific researchers who can aid in determining the impact of the krill fishing industry on the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Such research will serve to ensure ecosystem protection, while improving the management basis for the fishery.
The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund (AWR) was unveiled at a ceremony in Australia, with the aim of strengthening the scientific basis for the management of the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic Region.
An Iceberg, the size of Manhattan in area, was derived from the Pine Island Glacier, and is currently moving through the Southern Ocean. To keep track of its movements and melting Professor Grant Bigg of UK's University of Sheffield has been awarded a £50,000 grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for the 6 month project.
Modelling of the effects of sea temperature rises in the Southern Oceans indicates that krill in the seas around South Georgia may be the hardest hit of the region by the effects of global warming, reports the August edition of the South Georgia Newsletter.
Antarctic krill are usually less than 6 cm in length, but their size belies the major role they play in sustaining much of the life in the Southern Ocean. They are the primary food source for many species of whales, seals, penguins and fish.
Pine Island Glacier (PIG), the longest and fastest flowing glacier in the Antarctic, has spawned a huge iceberg. The block measures about 720 sq km in area - roughly eight times the size of Manhattan Island in New York.