Governments now need to act swiftly to ratify the Global Ocean Treaty because the mysterious ocean worlds of wonder deserve protection. We need this Treaty to cover our blue planet in a network of ocean sanctuaries and reach the 30x30 commitment.
The Antarctic is one of the most fragile regions on Earth. It's a breathtaking world of drifting icebergs, majestic whales and playful penguins. Hidden beneath the ice exists a microcosm of alien marine life that has been thriving for thousands of years.
In 2022, researchers on board a Greenpeace International expedition set out to identify vulnerable ecosystems on the Antarctic seafloor. They conducted what is considered the southernmost scientific submarine dive in history at 65 degrees south.
They were met with an incredible diversity of corals and other highly vulnerable species. But threats facing the Antarctic continue to mount.
The threat of increasing fishing pressure adds to impacts of the climate crisis, and even the Antarctic is not far enough to be safe from plastic pollution. We urgently need ocean sanctuaries to protect the Antarctic and other crucial ecosystems like it.
The Antarctic Ocean Commission has the power to create ocean sanctuaries in Antarctic waters immediately - and take the first steps towards protecting at least 30% of our oceans by 2030. Earlier this year, governments agreed a Global Ocean Treaty and in September, it opened for signing at the UN General Assembly.