In 1982 the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) came into force. The aim of the Convention is to conserve marine life of the Southern Ocean including albatross, penguins and seals.
The Convention establishes a Commission to manage the marine living resources of the area for which it is responsible. It regulates and sets policy on activities associated with the sustainable utilisation and management of marine living resources in the Southern Ocean.
Based on advice from the Scientific Committee, the Commission determines catch levels for harvested species such as Patagonian toothfish, adopts measures for minimising any potential impact that fishing activities may have on non-target species such as albatross. The Commission also aims to prevent illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.
HSI has long worked through CCAMLR to address the problem of seabird bycatch in the southern ocean, and campaigns to have the trade in Patagonian toothfish further regulated in order to stop the rampant poaching. Illegal longliners for Patagonian toothfish do not use any measures to avoid seabird drowning on their hooks and are killing thousands of seabirds every year. Their illegal fishing is sending several species of albatross and petrel hurtling towards extinction.
HSI was one of 16 organisations in an Antarctic Ocean Alliance calling for the world's largest network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves to be established to protect Antarctica' s Southern Ocean. In 2016 the Alliance applauded the momentous agreement by CCAMLR governments to safeguard 1.55 million km2 of the Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean.
The campaign continues for protection of all Antarctic environments and wildlife in perpetuity.