The Antarctic Sector of the Pacific covers the area between Australia and South America south of about 45°S. The region comprises about 6% of the Earth's surface and is amongst the most remote, hostile and least studied of the world's oceans. The scientific importance of the region is derived from its role in the reconstruction of Gondwanaland, its influence on Pacific climate and palaeoclimate and its biological productivity. No systematic surveys of the region have been undertaken since the work of the U.S.N.S. Eltanin (1962-1972). The comprehensive reassessment of whale stocks by the International Whaling Commission in 1990 and problems with ratification of the Antarctic Minerals Regime attest to the importance of Antarctic matters at present.
The book will stimulate scientific activity in the region and serve as a handbook for future research. It should also appeal to oceanographers and Polar scientists.