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South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area
Marine Protected Area
The waters around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are among the most
productive in the Southern Ocean, supporting a tremendous abundance and diversity of
wildlife. The territory also supports a range of activities, such as fishing and tourism,
which represent potential threats to that wildlife. Fisheries and tourism are therefore
highly regulated. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has certified both the South
Georgia toothfish and icefish fisheries as sustainably managed, together with a major
component of the krill fishery. Tourism is highly regulated with only the smaller cruise
ships allowed to visit the islands.
As part of an ongoing programme of sustainable management of the Territory, the South
Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA) was declared on
February 23rd 2012. This created a large sustainably managed MPA (IUCN Category VI),
designed to ensure the protection and conservation of the regions rich and diverse marine
life, whilst allowing sustainable and carefully regulated fisheries. The initial designation
enshrined in law much of the existing protection that had been established under the
fisheries licensing regime and created a 1.07 million km2 MPA, which included the
prohibition of all bottom trawling and a ban on bottom fishing at depths less than 700 m.
No-take zones (IUCN Category 1) were created around South Georgia, Clerke Rocks,
Shag and Black Rocks and the South Sandwich Islands, totalling 20,431 km2. The Notake
Zones provide refuges for fish, protect the benthos and spawning fish and avoid
competition between fisheries and land-based foragers.
From the "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area Management Plan."
Original data record from World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) via ProtectedPlanet.net [view record on site].