Join us at the Clean Ocean Laboratory !

How to Achieve a Clean Ocean in the Southern Ocean Region

Beyond being one of the most pristine and remote oceans in the world, the Southern Ocean plays a major role in regulating global ocean circulation, climate and other systems, as well as providing a range of other fundamental ecosystem services. It is thus imperative to fill urgent knowledge gaps and continue to strengthen interdisciplinary and co-produced knowledge, especially on the causes of pollution in terms of local sources (e.g. research activity, fisheries, tourism) and external sources (e.g. ocean currents, atmospheric transport), and their effects on ecosystems, human health and livelihoods. Finding innovative solutions to eliminate pollution at the source, mitigating harmful activities, and removing pollutants from the ocean, is critical to attaining a Clean Ocean and also supports the designation of the Antarctic Region as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science.

As part of this global effort to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health, a Working Group has been set up as part of the Southern Ocean process to identify the needs of the Southern Ocean community to maintain a Clean Ocean where sources of pollution are identified, reduced or removed. This Working Group has been tasked with identifying tangible actions and deliverables to overcome Southern Ocean challenges related to pollution. This includes finding solutions to pollutants and contaminants including marine debris, plastic, excess nutrients, anthropogenic underwater noise, hazardous chemicals, organic toxins, and heavy metals.

Our Satellite Activity at the Clean Ocean Laboratory will provide an opportunity to discuss how to maintain a Clean Southern Ocean by strengthening links between science, industry and policy in order to develop techniques suitable for polar conditions, and enhancing upon internationally collaborative activities for solving gaps in knowledge/data.

Draft Agenda

Hosts: The Southern Ocean Task Force

Moderators: Chairs of Working Group 1 on “How to achieve a Clean Ocean”

    • Clara Manno (British Antarctic Survey)
    • Cath Waller (University of Hull)
    • Jeff Bowman (University of San Diego) 


    • Pjotr Elshout (Project Officer at the European Polar Board)
    • Verena Meraldi (Chief Scientist at Hurtigruten Expeditions, member of IAATO – International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators)
    • Ceisha Poirot (Expert Group Leader of COMNAP – Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs)
    • Mercedes Santos (Chief Officer of ANT-ICON – Integrated Science to Inform Antarctic and Southern Ocean Conservation)
    • Claire Christian (Executive Director at ASOC – Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition)
    • Laura Smith (Chair of the Polar Citizen Science Collective)

Key audience: Multidisciplinary audiences with different backgrounds encompassing tourist cruise operators, fishery and environmental agencies, academics, educators, engineers, NGOs, stakeholders.

Timing: 17 November, 9:00 – 10:30 pm CET