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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 permanently closed to krill fishing.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State

The South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands sustainable use MPA, which covers 86% of the maritime zone, permits sustainable, highly precautionary fishing activities to take place. No commercial fishing licences are granted across the remaining 14% of the maritime zone.

There are permanent pelagic no-take zone around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, from the coast out to 12 nautical miles. Through the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, krill fishing is restricted around South Sandwich Islands to 15% of the scientifically determined total allowable catch for the region, deemed highly precautionary. In addition to these international measures domestic regulations also prohibit fishing during the breeding period of the krill-eating penguins, seals and other natural predators and natural exclusion by sea ice in winter further restricts human activity.

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