17 February, 2003

Embargoed until Monday 17 February 2003 (10.30am Eastern, US: 15.30 GMT) 7 February 2003 PR No.1/2003 Animals in the oceans surrounding Antarctica are under increasing threat. Fishery management organisations and governments need to do more to eliminate illegal fishing and regulate better legal fishing in Southern Ocean and adjacent areas according to Professor John Croxall speaking today (17 Feb) at a special symposium ? Conserving Migratory Marine Organisms: Protecting animals with ocean-sized habitats organised by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Charismatic creatures such as seabirds (albatross and petrels), fur seals and penguins are under greater competition to find food or are simply being killed by fishing gear. Professor Croxall, of the British Antarctic Survey, calls for more action from governments and fishery management organisations to take action to deal with this threatening situation. He argues that scientific measures taken to protect the unique marine resources of the oceans surrounding Antarctica should be extended to wider areas. During the last five years, the application of scientific research has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of Antarctic seabirds killed from longline fisheries.

NOTES TO EDITORS: A summary of Professor Croxall?s talk is available by contacting the BAS Press Office as above.

Picture Editors: Photographs and video footage of Antarctic animals such as albatross, seals and penguins are available from the BAS and AAAS Press Office. British Antarctic Survey British Antarctic Survey (BAS) undertakes a world-class programme of science in the Antarctic and related regions, addressing key global and regional issues through research, survey and monitoring. BAS also helps to discharge the UK’s international responsibilities under the Antarctic Treaty System. British Antarctic Survey is part of the Natural Environment Research Council.