The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) was founded in 1978 by FoEI, WWF and other environmental organizations in order to provide a mechanism for the public to monitor and participate in meetings of the Antarctic Treaty System.
ASOC now includes over 100 organizations in 30 countries and leads the international campaign to protect the biological diversity and pristine wilderness of Antarctica, including its oceans and marine life.
ASOC campaign teams attend all meetings of the Antarctic Treaty System as accredited expert observers, and are able to put on the table detailed proposals for change as well as commenting on all government proposals. ASOC also is an observer to the Agreement on Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (ACAP) and the International Whaling Convention (IWC), where we work to protect the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
asoc: foei paper before international maritime organization
Friends of the Earth International has submitted a joint paper before the International Maritime Organization, on behalf of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition. ASOC'S Information Paper on Southern Ocean Vessel Issues discusses the desirability of the IMO establishing additional rules for vessels operating in the Southern Ocean, including:
- Ice-strengthening standards
- Banning use of heavier grade fuel oils
- Preventing discharges of oily substances, sewage, graywater and waste
- Preventing introduction of alien species, including via hull fouling
- Establishment of a universal vessel traffic monitoring and
information system for Antarctic vessels.
Key issues include:
- stopping illegal “pirate” fishing in the Southern Ocean, which is harming the most valuable commercial species – Antarctic Toothfish, while killing hundreds of thousands of giant petrels and albatross over the past few years;
- ensuring that fishing for krill, the base of the marine food chain, is managed on an ecosystem basis that ensures no harm to predators;
- regulation of commercial tourism, which is growing exponentially in recent years and is presently self-regulated by an industry association;
- regulation of bio-prospecting, which is growing rapidly without any controls;
- ratifying Annex 6 to the Environmental Protocol on liability for harm to the environment;
- securing protected status for Lake Vostok;
- gaining political support for creation of the world's largest marine protected area – the Ross Sea;
- regulating noise pollution from various types of sonars being used in the Southern Ocean;
- obtaining appropriate standards and rules for vessels operating in the Southern Ocean;
- ensuring the integrity of the Whale Sanctuary by stopping Japan’s ‘scientific’ whaling.
Contact person: James Barnes
foe groups and affiliates