The East Antarctic Ice Sheet flows off the Antarctic continent into the Southern Ocean that surrounds it. It is an expanse of ice abruptly surrendering to sapphire seas. Coastal currents, among them the Prydz Bay Gyre, mingle with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, supporting marine life throughout the circumference of the continent. Penguins, seals, krill, and toothfish rely on this vast expanse of frigid habitat. Glacial streams have over millennia carved deep canyons into the continental shelf and slope along the East Antarctic coastal region. The Gunnerus Ridge rises from the depths of the ocean bed, to a seamount—a mountain that sits beneath the surface rich in biodiversity—off its northern end. The seals and seabirds off the shores of East Antarctica feed mostly on krill and silverfish—both of which are vital to a healthy ecosystem. Prydz Bay alone is home to at least one million breeding pairs of snow petrels, as well as Antarctic terns and a variety of albatross species. East Antarctica also supports many colonies of Adélie and emperor penguins. Large populations of minke, humpback, blue, and fin whales also inhabit the waters of the East Antarctic. The area is home to crabeater, Weddell, Ross, and leopard seals. The region also harbors up to 42% of the world’s little-known Ross seals, designated a Specially Protected Species under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.