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South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands: Marine Protected Areas

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 27th June 2018.

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Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Labour, Penistone and Stocksbridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what proportion of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands marine protected area is legally designated as a fully no-take area.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State

The South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands sustainable use MPA, established to deliver defined conservation outcomes, covers 86% of the maritime zone. No commercial fishing licences are granted across the remaining 14% of the maritime zone.

There are a number of legal provisions in place for the effective management and conservation of the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands sustainable use MPA including: no-take zones from the coast to 12 nautical miles around Shag Rocks and South Georgia and 3 nautical miles from the South Sandwich Islands coast covering 2%; an additional pelagic no-take zone extending 12 nautical miles South Sandwich Islands coast; total ban on commercial bottom trawling; depth restrictions on fishing for the Marine Stewardship Council certified toothfish fishery protecting 92% of the sea floor habitats; and prohibitions on krill fishing during the summer breeding period (1 November to 31 March).

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