press releases and notices
From South Georgia Website
(All documents can be downloaded here)
SG Patagonian Toothfish Fishery Recertified With Flying Colours
Following its five-yearly Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment, the South Georgia Patagonian toothfish longline fishery has, for the third time, been certified as a sustainable and well- managed fishery. MSC is the world’s leading certification and ecolabel program for wild-caught environmentally sustainable seafood.
Originally certified in 2004, the South Georgia Patagonian toothfish fishery was recertified in 2009 and has just completed its second re-assessment. Once again there are no conditions on the certification and the fishery scored an average of 96 out of 100 against the three MSC principles, making it one of the world’s highest scoring fisheries assessed against MSC standards.
Administrative Penalty Issued to Longline Fishing Vessel
On April 30th 2014 the charterers of a longline vessel, fishing under licence in the SGSSI Maritime Zone, were issued with an Administrative Penalty Notice for a breach of licence conditions. The full notice can be downloaded here [pdf]
Landmark Reindeer Eradication Project Helps Protect SG’s Native Biodiversity
The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) is pleased to announce the completion of a major project to eradicate reindeer from the island of South Georgia. The project, which was undertaken during two austral summers, included the humane removal of over 6,600 non-native reindeer from the island.
Reindeer Eradication Project
A Significant Step Forward In Protecting South Georgia’s Environment
The GSGSSI is pleased to announce the completion of the first phase of the eradication of reindeer from the Island of South Georgia. The first phase of the project, which ran throughout January and February 2013, saw the removal of over 1900 animals from the Busen area (one of two peninsulas on South Georgia that were inhabited by reindeer).
New Spatial and Temporal Closed Areas added to SGSSI MPA
(Monday January 21st 1100 hrs GMT)
Download the full press release 'New Spatial and Temporal Closed Areas added to the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area' here [pdf, 0.3mb]
Marine Protected Areas Consultation
GSGSSI New Environment Officer Take Up Post In Stanley
SGSSI Marine Protected Area Management Plan
The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is delighted to announce the creation of one of the world's largest Marine Protected Areas around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Court Dismisses Judicial Review Action Brought Against the DoF
Court dismisses judicial review action brought against the SG Director of Fisheries
On Tuesday November 22nd the Supreme Court of the Falkland Islands (which has jurisdiction over South Georgia matters) dismissed an application for Judicial Review of the allocation of licences by the Director of Fisheries, Dr Martin Collins. The dismissal followed the withdrawal of the application by the claimants, Copemar SA and Beauchene Fishing Company Ltd, less than an hour before the court was due to convene. The Chief Justice further ordered that the applicants pay the costs of the respondents.
Download full note here [docx, 0.02mb].
New Stamp Release: SG Petrels by the Artist John Gale
There are 125 species of tubenose birds, which include the petrels and albatrosses. The four species illustrated on this set of stamps represent three species of fulmarine petrel and one species of diving petrel. These birds inhabit an oceanic environment, feeding on the abundant food supply present in the Southern Ocean. They nest and breed on many islands in the Southern Ocean, including South Georgia, the three species of fulmarine petrel also breed on the South Sandwich Islands.
The full press release can be downloaded here [doc, 0.04mb].
The stamps are due for release on 10th August 2011. For additional information, please contact John Smith, Pobjoy Mint Ltd, Tel: (44) 1737 818181 Fax: (44) 1737 818199 email: email@example.com
Enactment of the Wildlife and Protected Areas Ordinance (2011)
The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is pleased to announce the enactment of the Wildlife and Protected Areas Ordinance (2011). This is a significant moment for a Territory that is home to some of the highest densities of wildlife on Earth. The Ordinance replaces legislation which is in some instances nearly 100 years old, and provides for the protection of wildlife and habitats on land and at sea.
The full press release can be downloaded here [pdf, 0.6mb].
Pharos To Collect Scientific Data
28/3/11: This March saw the first tow of the continuous plankton recorder off the PV Pharos between the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Also, to coincide with the first deployment of the CPR and to celebrate the life and work of Sir Alister Hardy a set of four stamps have been released. For details download here [doc, 1.4mb].
Postal Services Ordinance Consultation
25/3/11: GSGSSI welcomes comments on the draft Postal Services Ordinance, which can be downloaded here [pdf, 0.2mb].
The Ordinance defines the postal services that will be offered in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, including categories of post, registration of post and insurance. The schedule to the Ordinance provides details of postal charges in force since 1st July 2010. The Ordinance also defines the duties and powers of a Postal Officer.
Please submit any comments to Martin Collins by April 21st 2011.
Management of introduced reindeer on South Georgia
19/2/11: Due to the detrimental impact of reindeer on native species, the threat of glacial retreat and following stakeholder consultation, GSGSSI has decided to undertake a full eradication of reindeer. Download the press release here [pdf, 1mb].
Administrative Penalty Issued to Longline Fishing Vessel
On May 16th 2010 the operators of a longline vessel, fishing under licence in GSGSSI waters, were issued with an Administrative Penalty Notice (under Section 21 of the Fisheries (Conservation & Management) Ordinance 2000) for failure to report the killing of two albatross and for the discarding of hooks, including baited hooks. Both offences were in contravention of Section 5 of the Fisheries (Conservation and Management) Ordinance 2000.
The vessel operators subsequently admitted the offences and were issued with a penalty of £25,000, which has now been paid.
GSGSSI takes any contravention of licence conditions extremely seriously, particularly when they may lead to the killing of seabirds.
Director of Fisheries, GSGSSI
GSGSSI One Month Visitor Fee Policy
GSGSSI Revised Implementation Date For One Month Visitor Fee Policy
Following engagement with IAATO members during the course of the 2010 IAATO meeting and discussions held in the aftermath of the meeting, the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands has taken the decision to defer the implementation of the one month visitor fee structure until the start of the 2011/12 season. This will align the introduction of this fee with the introduction of the 72hr visitor fee supplementary charge, so that both fee structures will commence at the start of the 2011/12 season on 1 July 2011.
Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 7 July 2010
Download the notice here
South Georgia Heritage Trust Habitat Restoration Project
GSGSSI are pleased to announce that, following stakeholder consultation, conditional approval has been given to the SGHT for the first phase of the Habitat Restoration project to proceed in February-April 2011. The conditions that apply are as follows:
1. A minimum of two helicopters should be used throughout the project, although an exception can be made for the Greene Peninsula, where a single helicopter operation will be acceptable;
2. SGHT take out adequate insurance, to amounts agreed with GSGSSI, to cover all aspects of the project;
3. Detailed documentation, including risk assessments, biosecurity plans, oil spill response and search and rescue plans are submitted in good time to GSGSSI for approval.
The project, which aims to eradicate rats from the Thatcher, Mercer and Greene peninsulas on South Georgia, is a major undertaking and, if successful, should result in a dramatic increase in the numbers of ground nesting birds.
South Georgia Toothfish Recertified With Flying Colours
Note the full press release with 'Notes to Editors' can be downloaded here
Following its five-yearly Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) re-assessment, the South Georgia toothfish fishery has been re-certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery. Originally certified in 2004, the fishery received an average score of 93 % in its reassessment, making it the third highest scoring of the 52 current MSC certified fisheries.
Despite this success, the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI), who manage the fishery, has pledged a continued commitment to further improving the fishery. This will include an extensive programme of scientific work in order to support management of the fishery over the next 5 years.
Dr Martin Collins, Director of Fisheries at the GSGSSI says: “We are delighted that the toothfish fishery has been recertified and the excellent scores attained reflect the efforts made by the GSGSSI, its scientific consultants and fishing industry to ensure the fishery is managed sustainably. South Georgia is a unique environment and the GSGSSI will continue in its efforts to improve all aspects of the fishery.”
Foreign Office Minister, Chris Bryant said: "It's great news that the South Georgia toothfish fishery has done so well - a tribute to all those involved and South Georgia's commitment to the sustainable management of its fisheries. It's also a fine demonstration of how Governments, the Fishing Industry and Scientists, working together, can achieve excellent results for both the environment and the economy. "
Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC adds: “The South Georgia toothfish fishery has excelled in its re-certification scoring significantly higher than the first assessment. It is deeply gratifying to see the GSGSSI commit to further improvements in the fishery which has already made such great strides forward. By leading the way in toothfish certification, the SG toothfish fishery has created a market for certified sustainable toothfish that is now – deservedly – thriving.”
Dr Martin Collins, Director of Fisheries, Government of South Georgia, Stanley, Falkland Islands. Tel: +500 28214; here
James Simpson, Marine Stewardship Council. Tel: +44 (0)207 811 3315; e-mail: here
Fake “Coins” Of SGSSI
Reverse images recorded are Chester Penny, Edinburgh, Horse Guards of London, Lincoln Cathedral, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Westminster School, Windsor Castle, and York Castle Museum
The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands wishes to state categorically that these Bi-Metallic pieces should be treated as fakes for the following reasons:-
1) They have been issued without the authority of the Administration.
2) No legislation exists to allow for coins to be produced under the name of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands which are Bi-Metallic or base metal, dual plated.
3) Such designs have not been presented to Buckingham Palace for approval by Her Majesty The Queen as is required for all coin designs of the Administration which bear Her Majesty’s effigy on the obverse.
4) Copyright for the image of Her Majesty used on these fake pieces rests with Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS FSNAD and this uncouped image has been licensed exclusively for use by Pobjoy Mint Ltd which company confirms that it has not produced these items.
The Administration of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands takes this matter very seriously and will, in conjunction with Pobjoy Mint Ltd and the relevant external Authorities, take all actions possible to identify the producers of these fake items and welcomes any information from any party who may be able to assist in tracing said producers.
Fire On The Fishing Vessel In Sung 22 In South Georgia Waters
June 17th 1300 hrs
On Tuesday 16th June 2009 at around 1400 (local) the GSGSSI were notified that the Korean flagged fishing vessel In Sung 22 had a fire on board and required assistance. The In Sung 22 is a long-line vessel licensed to fish in South Georgia waters and was approximately 60 nautical miles east of South Georgia (54o27’ S; 34o42’ W).
At the time of the incident the FPV Pharos SG was on passage from Stanley to South Georgia, but was more than 24 hrs away from the location of the In Sung 22. The nearest fishing vessel, the Argos Froyanes, which was 70 nautical miles away was contacted and asked to assist. The Argos Froyanes ceased fishing and proceeded to the location of the vessel.
The Argos Froyanes reached the In Sung 22 late on the evening on the 16th. The In Sung 22 had lost engine power, but there were no reported injuries. The Argos Froyanes took the vessel in tow towards Cumberland Bay. The fire is believed to have started in the rear of the accommodation section of the vessel. The In Sung 22 has 40 crew on board, plus an observer (UK). The nationalities of the crew are Korea 8, Vietnam 13, Indonesia 14, Philippines 4 and China 1. There are no reported casualties or injuries.
The FPV Pharos will rendezvous with the Argos Froyanes and In Sung 22 in Cumberland Bay and assess the situation.
The vessel owners are sending another vessel, the In Sung Ho, from the South Orkneys to Cumberland Bay to assist the In Sung 22.
The has been no environmental damage as a result of the fire, but GSGSSI will continue to monitor the situation and would like to thank Argos and the captain and crew of Argos Froyanes for their assistance.
New Senior Executive Officer For South Georgia Government
Martin graduated in Zoology at Reading University in 1989 and in early 1990 took up a position as a Fishery Observer in the Falkland Islands. After a year in the Falklands and a bit of time out to sail across the Atlantic he did a PhD on squid ecology at University College, Cork. Subsequent research work focussed on cephalopod ecology and deep-sea fish behaviour and ecology.
Contact details for Dr Collins are:
Tel: +44 (0)1223 221400
Gentoo Chick Mortality (22/01/09)
(A detailed report can be downloaded as a pdf here.)
The Death of Betty Biggs (18/09/08)
It is with sadness that we record the death of Betty Biggs in Stanley on the 17th September. Betty was a former resident and Post Mistress of South Georgia, where she brought up her young family. The Government extends its sympathy to Betty's family and friends. We hope to post a full obituary on this site in due course.
Legislative Review (30/01/08)
The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is currently undertaking a major legislative review. This will include improved legislation governing tourism and visitor management. In the coming months there will be an opportunity for cruise ship vessel operators to comment on the new South Georgia Policy Document.
South Georgia – Scene of Cruise Ship Disaster Exercise (15/10/07)
King Edward Point, South Georgia, was the setting for a cruise ship disaster exercise involving UK military units operating away from their base in the Falkland Islands, members of the Falkland Islands Defence Force as well as British Antarctic Survey (BAS), PHAROS SG and Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) personnel based in South Georgia.
GSGSSI and SAISP Partnership (Aug 2007)
On islands such as South Georgia, invasive species have been identified as the single biggest threat to biodiversity. In response to this, South Georgia Government has a full time employee dealing with the issue of invasive species. Projects include studying the feasibility of eradication of rats and mice, introduced plant species and removal of damaging introduced reindeer. In addition to this, efforts are being made to address the biosecurity of the island, with a raft of new measures being put in place to safeguard the island from additional introductions.