Scientists from around the globe will gather in Hobart this week for a symposium on the sub-Antarctic Kerguelen sector of the Southern Ocean.

The Kerguelen Plateau is the largest submarine plateau in the Southern Ocean and supports many unique sub-Antarctic wildlife, including endemic species of ice fishes, seabirds and marine invertebrates.

The Kerguelen Symposium on Marine Ecosystems and Fisheries brings together more than 70 researchers studying in the Australian and French regions of the Kerguelen Plateau.

Presentations will focus on advances in marine ecosystem knowledge, developments in fisheries resource assessment and management, and marine policy and conservation in the region.

Australia’s only active volcano, Big Ben, emerges from Heard Island, and research being presented this week suggests minerals resulting from extensive underwater volcanic activity supports the base of the food web in the region.

Delegates from Australia, France, Belgium, China and the Ukraine will attend. This is the second Kerguelen Symposium, the first was held in 2000 in France.

The Symposium is supported by the Australian Antarctic Division and the French National Museum of Natural History, with the assistance of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, French Polar Institute, University of Tasmania’s Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Australian and French fishing industries.