Development of the Antarctic is an international affair -- one of the few places where the United States, Soviet Union and several other countries have been able to work things out, slowly but up to now peacefully.
The two superpowers, along with Japan, France, Great Britain and the nearby nations of Chile and Argentina, signed a major Anarctic treaty in 1959. They recently agreed to an additional pact a Convention for the Conservation of Anarctic Marine Living Resources. Now, discussion among the nations will turn to regulation of fishing underthe new convention and exploitation of any oil and mineral resources discovered in Antarctica.
The Soviets already do a little fishing in those icy but untroubled waters and talk of major exploitation of krill. Krill is a small crustacean, which Russians describe as shrimp-like, and some Americans call cockroach-like. Although there's been no exploration to date for minerals, some believe that pertroleum may be found along the Antarctic continental shelf.
You have a chance to learn more about all this, according to the Aug. 5 Federal Register (page 51974), when the Antarctic Section of the Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Advisory Committee meets at 2 p.m. Sept. 25 at the State Department, Room 1408, in a public session. The talk will primarily be about getting the newly signed convention approved by the Senate, but some discussion is promised on fishing and perhaps minerals in preparation for the next international consultative committee meeting of the Antarctic treaty nations in June in Buenos Aires.