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BIOMASS (Biological Investigations of Marine Antarctic Systems and Stocks) was a unique, large-scale, long-term, international research programme established in 1977 to investigate the ecology of the Southern Ocean. Its main aim was to gain a greater understanding of the biological systems and stocks in the marine Antarctic environment, thereby providing a sound basis for the future management of the living resources within this immense ocean. The programme was drawn to a close in 1991 and its completion marked by a colloquium which brought together key researchers to summarise and review the results obtained. This volume, arising from that colloquium, provides a succinct, state-of-the-art account of the ecology of the Southern Ocean and serves as a comprehensive record of this unique and successful international project.