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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, how many kilometres 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, established to deliver defined conservation outcomes, covers 1.074 million km2. No commercial fishing licences are granted across the remaining 166,207 km2 of the maritime zone.

The permanent pelagic no-take zone extends 12 nautical miles around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands covering 38,500 km2. In addition to the highly precautionary international regulations through the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, there are seasonal closures during the breeding period of the krill-eating penguins, seals and other natural predators (1 November to 31 March) across the entire 1.074 million km2 MPA and natural exclusion by sea ice in winter further restricts human activity.

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