SOUTH GEORGIA AND SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
Drawing on the recommendations arising from the recent 5-yearly review of the South Georgia and & South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area, GSGSSI will extend the current Marine Protected Area legislation across its entire 1.24m km2 Maritime Zone. No-take zones (NTZ), which will be closed to all commercial fishing activity, will be expanded to cover 23% (284,000 km2) of the MPA; an area which greatly exceeds the size of the UK. This new NTZ network covers key biodiversity hotspots at the South Sandwich Islands and protects the globally significant and unique South Sandwich trench. In addition, a precautionary two month extension to the seasonal closure of the highly regulated fishery for Antarctic krill will limit fishing to the winter period between May and September, to reduce potential competition between the fishery and krill predators such as seals and penguins during their breeding seasons. To further reduce potential human impacts upon the region’s ecosystem, GSGSSI will introduce a ban on the carriage and use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by vessels operating around the South Sandwich Islands. GSGSSI will also enshrine in legislation the prohibition on the commercial extraction of mineral resources, whilst allowing for scientific research and related activities; also modelled on international law.