University Of Tasmania

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Challenges and opportunities for Southern Ocean and Antarctic governance

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 19:40 authored by Joanna VinceJoanna Vince
Surrounding the vast Antarctic continent is the treacherous Southern Ocean that is rich in marine life. The Antarctic region is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System which is made up of international agreements that manage marine resources and protect the Antarctic environment. Governance of this marine space is further complicated by other regimes outside of the Antarctic Treaty System such as the Law of the Sea Convention that gives Antarctic Treaty claimant states the ability to assert claims to adjacent offshore areas. In Australia’s case, the Australian Antarctic Territory and its adjacent Exclusive Economic Zone are not recognised by all states involved in the region. Consequently, these governance issues have resulted in political tensions for claimant states over maritime boundaries, the use of marine resources in the Southern Ocean, and the level of environmental protection. This paper analyses these tensions and the on-going challenges that are faced by states involved in activities in the Southern Ocean. It also addresses the opportunities that these governance arrangements can provide in this era of environmental and political uncertainty.


Department of Defence



School of Social Sciences


Climate and Sustainability Policy Research Group

Place of publication


Event title

Geostrategic Futures in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica

Event Venue

Canberra, Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems; Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments not elsewhere classified

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