Join Leonardo DiCaprio to save the Antarctic ocean
A coalition of conservation and environmental groups are proposing that a vast section of Antarctica's waters must be protected from fishing and other industries. More than 40% of the area must be given protection soon before one of the world's last true frontiers is irreparably damaged according to The Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA). The group’s members also include Greenpeace and WWF.
American actor Leonardo DiCaprio is also an active supporter and campaigner of the Antarctic. This past week, he publicly urged citizens to speak up in support of protecting the ocean: “Within days, governments could begin turning wide stretches of the Antarctic ocean into the world’s largest marine sanctuary, saving the habitat of whales, penguins, and thousands of other polar species from industrial fishing fleets. But they won’t act unless we speak out now".
19 key Antarctic marine habitats have been identified that must be protected as part of the largest network of marine protected areas ever. The coalition is urging the UK government to throw its weight behind the proposals because it has already taken a lead in creating protected areas in the Southern Ocean.
The coalition also argues that the fishing industry is putting enormous pressure on the marine ecosystems in the Antarctic and this is threatening the health of animal populations such as penguins, whales, seals, fish and krill. The Southern Ocean accounts for 10% of the world’s seas, yet less than 1% of it is “strictly protected” despite being home to vast numbers of animals, many of them vulnerable to man's interference.
Almost all countries support the sanctuary, with the exception of Russia, South Korea and a few others who are threatening to vote it down. They want to have the right to take advantage of these fertile seas now that others have been fished to death.
This week, a small group of negotiators will meet behind closed doors to make a final decision. What is needed is a massive people-powered effort that could break open the talks, isolate those attempting to block the sanctuary, and secure a deal to protect over 6 million square kilometers of the Antarctic ocean.
It is up to us to defend the whales, penguins and other sealife of the Antarctic. One way we can all help to change negotiator's minds is with a massive signing and sharing of the urgent petition below. Please take a minute to do so for the future of the Antarctic marinelife and ocean habitats.
PETITION Days to save the Antarctic ocean
Leonardo DiCaprio, with the Avaaz team
VIDEO Antarctic Ocean Alliance: Join the Watch