At an annual meeting of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources in Hobart, Australia, twenty-four countries and the European Union agree to create the world's largest marine park in Antarctica's Ross Sea. The marine park will cover more than 12 percent of the Southern Ocean, and will be protected from commercial fishing for 35 years.
Research, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal "Nature Geoscience", confirms that Mercury's darker than expected crusty exterior is from carbon, likely the remains of the planet's ancient surface crust of graphite, rather than carbon dust from comet impacts as previously postulated.
Australia is threatening to take legal action against Japan over its resumption of its controversial whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean. A whaling fleet set sail last week, ignoring international condemnation, and last year's ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) prohibiting these hunts.
The governments of Australia and New Zealand announce an investigation into an incident where a boat belonging to the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was damaged in a confrontation with a Japanese ship in the Southern Ocean.