The Antarctica Project, founded in 1982, is an organization designed to protect Antarctica and educate the public, government, and international groups about its current and future status. The group monitors activities that affect the Antarctic region, conducts policy research and analysis in both national and international arenas, and maintains an impressive library of books, articles, and documents about Antarctica. It is also a member of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), which has 230 member organizations in 49 countries.
In 1988, ASOC received a limited observer status to the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). So far, the observer status continues to be renewed, providing ASOC with a way to monitor CCAMLR and to present proposals. In 1989, the Antarctica Project served as an expert adviser to the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment on its study and report of the Minerals Convention. The group prepared a study paper outlining the need for a comprehensive environmental protection convention. Later, a conservation strategy on Antarctica was developed with IUCN—The World Conservation Union .
Besides continuing the work it has already begun, the Antarctica Project has several goals for the future. One calls for the designation of Antarctica as a world park. Another focuses on developing a bilateral plan to pump out the oil and salvage the Bahia Parasio, a ship which sank in early 1989 near the U.S. Palmer Station. Early estimated salvage costs ran at $50 million. One of the more recent projects is the Southern Ocean Fisheries Campaign. This campaign targets the illegal fishing taking place in the Southern Ocean which is depleting the Chilean sea bass population. The catch phrase of this movement is "Take a Pass on Chilean Sea Bass."
Three to four times a year, The Antarctica Project publishes ECO, an international publication which covers current political topics concerning the Antarctic Treaty System (provided free to members). Other publications include briefing materials, critiques, books, slide shows, videos, and posters for educational and advocacy purposes.
[Cathy M. Falk ]