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The Southern Ocean regional cluster is covered with 6 arrangements:
[other regional clusters]

Spatial extent

This region includes the entire area south of 60°S as well as the area north of 60°S that is part of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).


There is a significant integration of the arrangements in this region through the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). CCAMLR, the major ocean related component of the ATS, embraces the "ecosystem approach", which considers the whole Southern Ocean to be a suite of interlinked systems. The Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) has a cross-cutting role in providing technical advice.


CCAMLR has a mandate for fisheries (for non-mammal species) in this area. Its primary mission is conservation of Antarctic marine living resources, including birds, unlike other Regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) whose focus is managing fisheries.


An ATS Protocol focuses on issues related to environmental protection. It sets forth environmental principles to govern Antarctic activities, designates Antarctica as a natural reserve and prohibits all activities related to mineral resources other than scientific research.


The ATS Protocol also has provisions for biodiversity conservation including in the marine environment. As developed in practice, the Parties to the ATS Protocol have agreed to not designate marine areas without the consent of CCAMLR. CCAMLR focuses on the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources and has a mandate to conserve the ecosystem. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (CCAS) also promotes the protection, scientific study, and rational use of Antarctic seals, and to maintain a satisfactory balance within the ecological system of Antarctica. The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP), while global, is particularly relevant in this region. Annexes to an ATS Protocol directly address biodiversity conservation.

Climate Change

Climate change issues are also addressed under the ATS.

Relevance to ABNJ

This regional cluster has strong connections to areas beyond jurisdiction (ABNJ) through fisheries arrangements that are not just focused on the regulation of fishing, but also has a mandate to conserve the ecosystem.