Claire Christian

This past March, I had the privilege to visit the Antarctic Peninsula with One Ocean Expeditions as part of a discussion among Antarctic stakeholders on the future of Antarctica. I enjoyed seeing all the typical Antarctic animals – penguins, whales, and seals – but a real highlight was getting to meet Dr. Bill Baker at...

This week, thanks to OpenChannels, I came across an interesting scientific article critiquing a new concept in fisheries management called “balanced harvesting”. Co-authors of the article include prominent fisheries scientists such as Rainer Froese, Daniel Pauly and Sidney Holt. (For those interested, the article is open access.) Until now, I had not heard of “balanced...

The pressing need for the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs) (sometimes called as marine reserves) is discussed often on the Ocean Views blog. MPAs and reserves can help ecosystems recover, provide climate refuges and even protect humans. So we know that marine protection has a huge potential to improve environmental outcomes. But the MPAs...

Over the past few years, I’ve written a lot about efforts to create marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean. For someone like me, who works on these issues and studies the Antarctic environment, the justification for MPAs is obvious. Antarctic ecosystems are bursting with incredible marine life, much of which we have yet...

Once again, delegates from 24 countries and the EU, plus observers from environmental groups, have descended upon Tasmania to discuss the protection of the Antarctic marine environment, specifically marine protected areas (MPAs). When I last wrote about marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Antarctic, the situation was pretty grim. Nevertheless, the countries proposing the MPAs,...

Once again, delegates from 24 countries and the EU, plus observers from environmental groups, have descended upon Tasmania to discuss the protection of the Antarctic marine environment, specifically marine protected areas (MPAs). When I last wrote about marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Antarctic, the situation was pretty grim. Nevertheless, the countries proposing the MPAs,...

Yesterday, plans to create some of the world’s largest marine protected areas (MPAs) in Antarctica came to a screeching halt after Russia blocked progress. Although 24 nations and the EU had come to a special meeting in Germany specifically to consider proposals for MPAs in the Ross Sea and East Antarctica because they failed to...

  Yesterday, I talked about the justification for imposing new requirements on ships that operate in polar waters. The good news is that countries with major presences in the Arctic and Antarctic agree that such requirements are necessary, and over the past decade have made slow but steady progress towards creating them. The bad news...

Scientists recently identified multiple new trans-Arctic shipping routes that will be accessible to non-ice-strengthened vessels in just a few decades., Given that such routes would have been unimaginable a few decades ago, this research is yet another sobering reminder of the massive changes that anthropogenic climate change has caused. At the other end of the...

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean may seem very far away from civilization, but they are at great risk of losing their unique qualities due to human activities. Warmer temperatures and human visitation are increasing the likelihood that invasive species can take up residence in the Antarctic, and potentially cause major changes. Two studies have found...

For years, researchers have warned that the increasing acidity of the oceans is likely to create a whole host of problems for the marine environment. Most of these warnings were predictions for future decades as well as theories about possible impacts based on experiments under artificial conditions. Now, scientists have discovered proof that ocean acidification...

New Zealand enjoys its green image, branding itself as “100% pure.” Yet when it was given an opportunity to make a truly bold move to protect a uniquely undisturbed marine ecosystem, it balked. Last month, the NZ cabinet rejected a proposed U.S.-NZ plan to turn a large swath of the Ross Sea, which is part...

  By Claire Christian The Ross Sea in the Antarctic brings to mind visions of icebergs, penguins, seals and whales.  Yet, increasingly, the Ross Sea – with its harsh environment of sub-zero temperatures and iceberg-riddled waters – is being visited by fishing vessels from around the world.  Unfortunately, many of these vessels are not equipped...