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South Sandwich Islands: Environment Protection

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 156457, tabled on 21 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to protect the natural environment in the South Sandwich Islands with a view to establishing a reserve around the islands.

Answered on

29 June 2018

The protection of the South Sandwich Islands is one of the key objectives of the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA), which was designated in 2012. This sustainable-use MPA provides for a very small fishery of toothfish around the South Sandwich Islands, which is conducted in line with research protocols to support the scientific monitoring of the toothfish around the Territory.

There is also a notional catch allocation for krill, based on the scientific advice of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, but this has not been fished in over 25 years. The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands is currently undertaking the first 5-year review of the MPA and will be considering scientifically-based recommendations on how to ensure the MPA continues to deliver its conservation objectives.