ESEP 10:13-18 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00106

Potential impacts of Antarctic bioprospecting and associated commercial activities upon Antarctic science and scientists

Kevin A. Hughes*, Paul D. Bridge

British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK

ABSTRACT: The Antarctic Treaty and associated agreements have little to say specifically on bioprospecting activities within the Treaty area. Consequently, Antarctic bioprospecting has elicited much debate within the Antarctic community, particularly on issues such as benefit sharing between Antarctic Treaty parties, the free availability of scientific data originating in Antarctica and the potential environmental impacts. However, the effect of a further increase in Antarctic bioprospecting activity on Antarctic science, and biologists in particular, in the absence of internationally agreed regulation may deserve further consideration. In this paper we discuss some of the potential issues bioprospecting may present to the Antarctic science community including science funding, personal gain, international scientific collaboration and interactions with industrial partners.


KEY WORDS: Antarctica · Bioprospecting · Science · Scientist · Collaboration · Funding · Industry · Antarctic Treaty


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Cite this article as: Hughes KA, Bridge PD (2010) Potential impacts of Antarctic bioprospecting and associated commercial activities upon Antarctic science and scientists. Ethics Sci Environ Polit 10:13-18. https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00106

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