Exploration, Exploitation, Science and Tourism: A review of how conservation of Antarctica has changed since the 1900's.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The Antarctic continent and Southern Ocean is often seen as the last great wilderness on earth today. Many organizations and conventions have been set up to ensure its protection. Conservation is a hot topic in current Antarctic work, research and meetings, but this has not always been the case. Early travellers in Antarctica were focused on exploration and discovery, they had little knowledge of the impact their travels would have on the pristine environment. Whalers and sealers were not aware of the intensity their activities were having on marine animal stocks within the Southern Ocean. Science is the primary activity currently occurring in Antarctica, and scientists often feel they have a minimal impact on the environment but this has not always been so. Tourist activities in the Antarctic are on the increase and with it bring new conservation concerns. This review will attempt to discuss the ways Antarctic conservation and human perception of environmental issues in the Antarctic has changed since the early 20th century. Four main time periods with be focused on in this review. These are the “Heroic Era’ of early exploration of Antarctica, the periods of extensive sealing and whaling in the Southern Ocean, the current period of scientific research in Antarctica, and the present and future periods of increased Antarctic tourism. The reasons conservation is important in Antarctica and the risks Antarctic faces will also be discussed.
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