For two years, the United Nations Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh undertook a number of record-breaking swims, including the most southerly swim (78.5º South) in freezing Antarctic waters to help save the Ross Sea from irreversible damage.
The Ross Sea is one of the most pristine marine ecosystems on the planet, and home to many species found nowhere else on earth. The historical records trapped in its ice-shelf tell the story of the evolution of our planet. As a result, the area is of huge significance to marine biologists and conservation groups who are determined to protect and learn from this unique stretch of ocean. But like all of our seas, it faces the threats of climate change and overfishing.
Significantly, the proposed Ross Sea Marine Protected Area of 1.34 million km2 – bigger than the UK, Germany and France put together – was agreed on by the 24 Nations that make up the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and the Ross Sea MPA came into affect in late 2017 thus creating the biggest protected area in the world, on land or in the sea.