south georgia fisheries

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The Director of Fisheries for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is based in Government House in the Falkland Islands. However there is worldwide involvement in running the fishery – with scientific support and management advice coming from the Marine Resources Assessment Group in London; applied fisheries research conducted by the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge and at King Edward Point; Conservation Measures set by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources which meets annually in Hobart; foreign policy advice from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office; day-to-day administration by the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department and of course inspections, licensing and catch monitoring by the Government Officer at King Edward Point in South Georgia and surveillance and patrolling by the Fishery Officers on the Patrol vessel Pharos SG.

Companies and vessels which have participated in the fishery similarly come from all over the world. They are awarded licences on an annual basis following a competitive licensing round.

As South Georgia falls within the area covered by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) all the Conservation Measures and other regulations of the Commission apply. More information can be found at

Invitations to apply for licences are sent out by the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department. Please contact Mr Bernard Eccles if you would like to receive a pack.


The Toothfish Licence information pack contains:

  • Fishing Vessel Registration Application Form
  • Toothfish Licensing Information for Applicants.
  • Toothfish Licence - Application Form.
  • Subdivision of Management Areas B and C.

Download here.


  • Fishing Vessel Registration Application Form
  • SGSSI Icefish Licence Information for Applicants
  • SGSSI Icefish Application Form

Download here.


  • Fishing Vessel Registration Application Form
  • SGSSI Krill Licensing Information For Applicants
  • SGSSI Krill Fishing Vessel Licence Application Form

Download here.

South Georgia Toothfish Fishery Sustainability Award

South Georgia Toothfish Fishery Achieves Sustainability Award From The Marine Stewardship Council

The Government of South Georgia has received international recognition for its sustainable management of the marine environment. The Marine Stewardship Council has certified the South Georgia toothfish fishery, commending the Government's achievements in conserving the valuable stock and in protecting the related ecosystem.

The Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands , Howard Pearce, said 'The Government of South Georgia has invested considerable resources in managing its toothfish stock so as to ensure long-term sustainability of the species and the best possible protection of the marine ecosystem. We are delighted to have this commitment recognised by the Marine Stewardship Council.'

Illegal fishing, a significant problem in many toothfish fisheries of the Southern Ocean, has been virtually eliminated in the South Georgia fishery thanks to the South Georgia Government's tough enforcement policy. The strict management of the fishery also ensures a minimal impact on other creatures, such as albatross, that live and breed on South Georgia and in its waters.

(The above text was taken from a press release issued on behalf of the South Georgia Government)

The John Ridgway Save the Albatross Voyage 2003/4

Aim: "To prevent the needless slaughter of the Albatross".

We have sailed round the World following the circum-polar flight track of the Albatross. Starting from Scotland in July 2003, we sailed to Cape Town and then into the South African waters around Prince Edward and Marion Island, before moving on to the French islands of Crozet and Kerguelen. As we approached Heard Island , an Australian satellite sweep revealed no illegal fishing vessels, so we moved on, to pass through the Bass Strait , after calling in at Melbourne , on our way to Wellington , New Zealand . Sailing over the Chatham Rise, we crossed the Pacific and entered the Chilean, then the Argentine EEZ and finally the Falklands Conservation Zone, before arriving in Port Stanley . Throughout our voyage, we have been searching for ways to ensure a future for the Albatross.

We are impressed by what we have learned about South Georgia 's attempts to run a well-regulated fishery with minimal bird mortality. They demonstrate that high standards are achievable. If they can reduce bird mortality from long-line fishing to only 8 birds last year (0.0003 per thousand hooks), then others can surely follow suit.

We believe the only realistic way to prevent the albatross from continuing to die needlessly, is not to stop fishing, but to ensure fishing is carried out responsibly. A well-managed fishery provides revenue for research and protection and prevents stock being over-fished by pirates who don't care how many birds they kill.

One of the things learned on this trip is that it must be pressure from world opinion, particularly retailers and consumers of fish, which will have to make fishing companies prevent bird mortality. All that is needed is a willing skipper on every fishing boat.

We welcome MSC certification of the fishery as independent confirmation of South Georgia 's good management. The MSC logo on South Georgia toothfish in the shops will show that the buyer can be satisfied that the fish is caught by 'environmentally friendly' means, means which will ensure the future of the Albatross.

We cannot urge too strongly, that retailers and consumers question where the fish they buy comes from and how it is has been caught.

John Ridgway March 2004

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