Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem Antarctica
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names SAU name: Antarctica. Antarctic
LME SAU No 61. Shelf around the Antarctic continent. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 60° S 86° S - 180° W 180° E
Location Map Antarctica.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 4373433 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface -1.0 °C Map5.gif
100 Meters Depth 1.0 °C Map6.gif
Description Defined as the marine area south of the Antarctic Convergence, the boundary between 48 S and 60 S separating the cold Antarctic waters and the warmer sub-antarctic waters, the Antarctic LME can be considered a model for LME management. It was traditionally fished for whales, but since the cessation of that industry, finfish and krill are the targets of the fishery. Like whales, these resources have been subjected to poorly regulated or unregulated fishing pressures? sometimes to the point of stock reduction and depletion. Fishing for krill (the dominant species) and finfish began in Antarctic waters in the 1960s and continues to the present. Fish catches increased from approximately 4000 metric tons (mt) in the 1972-73 season to a peak of 500,000 mt in the 1979-80 season. The targets included species like the Antarctic cod and the icefish, both of which are now depleted. Krill have been fished in the Antarctic since 1973, when 20,000 mt were landed. Since then, the catch has been highly variable, increasing to 446,000 mt in 1986. For the most part, the major interest in these Antarctic marine living resources developed after the 1959 Antarctic treaty. Since mechanisms for managing resources were not adequately addressed in this treaty, the parties involved negotiated a new agreement for this purpose, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). This international agreement supports an ecosystem approach to management, with four main objectives: 1) To prevent any harvested population from falling below the level that ensures maximum stable recruitment; 2) To maintain the ecological relationships between harvested, dependent, and related species; 3) To restore depleted populations; and 4) To prevent or minimize changes in the ecosystem that are not potentially reversible over two or three decades. With its holistic, international approach, the CCAMLR represents a significant milestone in the conservation and management of living marine resources (
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
Ecosystem Checklist Link
SeaLifeBase Literature
Species Families Species Families Reference
331 90 5152
Palomares, Maria Lourdes D. on 04.23.01
Modified by on 05.06.21
Checked by on 06.07.12
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