The Last Ocean Charitable Trust

The Last Ocean calls for protection of the entire Ross Sea, the most pristine marine ecosystem on Earth.


The Last Ocean Charitable Trust was set up in August 2009 by Peter Young, John Weller and Dr. David Ainley to raise awareness of the Ross Sea within New Zealand. The Trust was based in Christchurch, New Zealand’s gateway to Antarctica, and supported by Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, Antarctic Ocean Alliance, Biotherm, Heritage Expeditions, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Global Ocean, Logan Brown Restaurant and Bar, Ocean Foundation, SeaWeb, Whale and Dolphin Conservation and Winweb.

The Last Ocean Trust joined scientists and environmental groups from all over the world in a campaign to have the entire Ross Sea designated as an MPA. The aim was to raise enough public and political support to swing CCAMLR member nations, starting with New Zealand, from a position of supporting fishing to supporting full protection of the Ross Sea.

As part of its outreach, the Trust toured New Zealand and the United States with presentations & public talks; developed an educational resource for New Zealand schools; and supported a travelling Photographic Exhibition and the production and distribution of The Last Ocean documentary.

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In November 2016 the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources established a marine protected area in the Ross Sea. On 1 December 2017 the MPA came into force, at which time the Trust was dissolved.


Dr. Peter Wilson (Chairman)

Peter’s annual migration to Antarctica began in 1980 to monitor Adélie penguin populations in the Ross Sea. After 25 summers on the ice, he is a passionate advocate for the preservation of this remarkable marine ecosystem. Peter brings a wealth of scientific knowledge and experience to The Last Ocean Charitable Trust.

Michael Sidey

Michael traveled to Antarctica on the icebreaker Kapitan Klebnekov in 2006. His experiences on the Ross Sea and surrounds influenced his understanding of the unique environment. He is deputy chairman of Forsyth Barr Limited, chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, director of the Academy of Sport South Island, and a trustee of The Halberg Trust and the St Andrew’s College Foundation.

David Barker

Antarctica has been an integral part of David’s life since his father managed Scott Base for the DSIR in the 1970s. Now it is his turn to be involved with this pristine part of the world. David is a chartered accountant in public practice and a trustee of a number of investment and charitable trusts, including the Orana Park Trust Board and the Board of Christ’s College.


Cassandra Brooks, Last Ocean USA Coordinator

Cassandra has worked in marine science and public outreach for more than a decade. Her writing and research focuses on marine resource exploitation worldwide, from local New England Rivers to the remote reaches of Antarctica.  During her graduate work at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Cassandra studied the life history of the Antarctic toothfish. She’s worked in the lab, underwater, and at sea and has presented her work at conferences both nationally and internationally. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz Science Communication Program. She contributed a lot of the content to this site.