Pristine Seas

Ross Sea

Picture of Ross Island

Photograph by Maria Stenzel

Located deep in what some scientists call the Southern, or Antarctic, Ocean, the Ross Sea is one of the most intact ecosystems in the world, with a remoteness that has kept it out of reach of overfishing, pollution, and other harmful human activities. Home to an array of marine species, it boasts whale, seal, and fish populations in high numbers. Its nutrient-rich waters also make it the Southern Ocean’s most productive sea, one that creates abundant planktonic life that in turn supports larger marine species ranging from seabirds to whales.

Due to its remarkable biodiversity, it has long been a destination for research and exploration, with scientific data from the region dating to as far back as 170 years ago. This longevity of data combined with the sea’s near-pristine condition makes it a valuable place to further our understanding of local ecosystem processes and the effects of environmental changes.

As the Ross Sea garners more interest from the commercial fishing industry, the Pristine Seas team is working in association with the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) to inspire global leaders to agree to protect this ocean wilderness.

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