Monday, October 22, 2012

Puttin the Power of We into Action: Help Save the Southern Oceans

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. Unless, vested interests try to prevent this happening.

We, the ordinary (actual extraordinary) people of the world, are speaking out now. We know that most countries support the sanctuary, but Russia, South Korea and a few other selfish countries are threatening to vote it down so they can plunder these seas, now that so many other oceans have been fished to an exhausted death.

This week, a small group of negotiators will meet behind closed doors to make a decision.  We are organising a massive people-powered surge to break open the talks, isolate those attempting to block the sanctuary, and secure a deal to protect over 6 million square kilometres of the precious Antarctic ocean.

The whales, seals and penguins can't speak for themselves, so it's up to us to defend them. We hope to change the negotiators’ minds with a massive wave of public pressure. Together, we'll deliver our message to delegates via a deafening cry on social networks.

More than 10,000 species call these remote Antarctic waters their home, including blue whales, leopard seals, and emperor penguins, and many of these species are found nowhere else on Earth. Climate change has already taken a cruel toll on their fragile habitat, but they will come under further threat from the industrial fishing fleet's mile-long nets cast over these precious waters. Only a marine sanctuary will increase their odds for survival.

The 25-member governing body that regulates the Antarctic oceans has already committed to creating these marine protected areas. But the two plans being negotiated -- one to protect part of the fragile Ross Sea and one for East Antarctica -- are at risk of dilution or delay.

Shockingly and amazingly, these talks have been off the media’s radar and countries like Russia and South Korea are betting their opposition will go unnoticed. They are so very wrong!

We will cast a public spotlight on the talks so glaring that we will force Russia and South Korea to back off, and encourage Antarctic conservation champions like the US and EU to push for even stronger protections.

The future of the Southern Ocean is in our hands. We will unleash a massive surge of global pressure and ensure governments don’t put private profits before our planet's health and welfare.

Concerned citizens of our planet have already helped to win victories to create two of the largest marine reserves in the world. But the threats to our oceans continue, and one by one species are coming closer to the brink.

High-profile celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio support our cause. We will save the Antarctic Ocean before it’s too late. That is a promise!!!

Please join us in our fight to save Antarctica and the fragile Southern Oceans.

Sign this urgent petition and share it with everyone you know:

MORE INFORMATION can be found here:

Protect Antarctic waters before it's too late, says environment coalition (The Guardian)

Alliance Seeks Vast Marine Reserves in Antarctic (New York Times)

Milestone discussions on marine protected areas in Antarctica scheduled for CCAMLR’s 31st annual meetings in Hobart (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources)

Antarctic oceans are under threat (Antarctic Ocean Alliance)

Antarctic seas in the balance (Nature)

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