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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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The Last Ocean

The Last Ocean

Emperor Penguins, Ross Sea, Antarctica (credit: The Last Ocean & MountainFilm)


The world's largest marine protected area was been established within the Ross Sea off Antarctica. It will protects this part of the Southern Ocean from commercial fishing for 35 years.

For years, scientific concerns had grown over the potential for overfishing and pollution of this pristine oceanic region. Protecting the Ross Sea, often referred to as "the last ocean", was championed by multiple environmental organizations, including Mission Blue and the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition. The newly established marine protected area (MPA), consists of an area covering nearly 600,000 square miles or more than twice the size of the state of Texas. The MPA was established in the Southern Ocean and will protect everything from penguins to whales and from sea birds to fish. According to the Coalition:

the new reserve will limit or entirely prohibit, certain commercial activities in order to meet specific conservation, habitat protection, ecosystem monitoring, and fisheries management objectives.

Environmental news is often discouraging but this new reserve is very hopeful and needs to be celebrated. Now, effective monitoring needs to be established for to protect the region from violations of this sound conservation effort. A short documentary was produced about The Last Ocean. WHB

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