Paul Nicklen

April 25, 2013

Emperor penguins mill in the depths as they prepare for their swift ascent to the sea ice. “Once they start to launch,” says Nicklen, “within 30 seconds they’re all standing on the ice.”

Why is today the most important Penguin Day ever? In less than three months, two dozen countries and the EU (the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources meets in Germany July 15) will decide whether to create the world’s largest marine reserves. CCAMLR will vote on one proposal from New Zealand and the United States, and another sponsored by Australia, France and the EU.

A consensus vote would create reserves in marine areas that are teeming with life, and arguably the best penguin habitat on Earth. These areas are now at risk from intensive industrial fishing (particularly for toothfish, sometimes called “Chilean sea bass.”)

On behalf of our feathered friends of the South, you can tell world leaders that the time to protect Antarctic waters has come.

In celebration of World Penguin Day, Mission Blue partners, The Antarctic Ocean Alliance, The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition and Greenpeace are actively promoting the protection of penguin habitat in two key regions of the Southern Ocean — the Ross Sea and Eastern Antarctica.  Join us and sign their petition to protect this, one of the last pristine wilderness areas on planet ocean!

Antarctic Ocean Alliance Petition

Photo (c) National Geographic / Paul Nicklen

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