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WEDDELL SEA

 

The Weddell Sea is one of the last practically pristine regions in Antarctica. Extending over 2.8 million square kilometres from the southeast of South America, the Weddell Sea is home to an estimated 14,000 animal species. Among these species are penguins, seals, toothfish, whales and large numbers of krill – the latter being essential nutrition to the former species. So far, the area has not been targeted by international fishing fleets, as the Weddell Sea is ice-covered most of the time. Due to climate change and the consequential decrease of the sea ice, there is an understandable concern that sooner or later the fishing activities will be extended to the area, particularly because of the rich stocks of krill and hake. In the area further north of the Weddell Sea, hundreds of thousands of tons of krill are being fished each year. Experts say that the Antarctic also plays a major role in mitigating climate change as the seas around the Antarctic absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the air.