A killer whale surfaces in the Ross Sea. Photo courtesy of: David Ainley.
The Ross Sea is considered by marine biologists to be the last great marine waters untouched by humans. In other words, its ecological integrity remains intact: this is a place where penguins, a unique species of killer whale, seals, and fish as big as a man, all thrive in a complex and whole food chain. However, its pristine nature is under threat.
Given that so many of the world’s fisheries have either collapsed or are under great stress from overfishing, we have now turned our sights on rich Antarctic waters. The Antarctic toothfish, a major slow-growing predator in the Ross Sea, has become a recent target of New Zealand fisheries. Conservationists fear that this species—like the cod, the bluefin tuna, and the orange roughy among others—will be overfished and that our last untouched ocean will soon become as ecologically broken as the rest.
To read more about the Ross Sea: In the midst of marine collapse will we save our last ocean?.