Saving the Most Pristine Ecosystem on Earth

Written by on September 23, 2013 in Other News
Satellite image of the Ross Sea in January 2011.

Satellite image of the Ross Sea in January 2011. Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via photopin cc.

The Ross Sea in Antarctica is considered by many to be the most pristine ecosystem on Earth. It’s the last area largely untouched by humans where researchers can study a healthy environment teeming with life. That was true until an international fishing fleet came to the Ross Sea in search of Antarctic toothfish, sold in upscale restaurants as Chilean sea bass.

Californian ecologist David Ainley, who has been studying the Ross Sea for over 30 years, along with a team of scientists, nature photographer John Weller and filmmaker Peter Young, started a campaign to save the Ross Sea before commercial fishing permanently alters this fragile ecosystem.

The story is told in the 2012 documentary, The Last Ocean which has won several awards, including Best ‘Call 2 Action’ film at the 2013 Boulder International Film Festival and Best Professional Documentary at the 2013 Real to Reel International Film Festival.

Watch the trailer:

Finding a screening near you or buy it on Amazon: The Last Ocean

To learn more:

A young Weddell seal - the southernmost mammal in the world.

A young Weddell seal – the southernmost mammal in the world. Photo credit: Povl via photopin cc.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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