The Austral winter is quiet in many ways
- the breeding colonies and cruise ships are gone - but other
activities continue. The human residents of South Georgia take
the chance to set off into the snow for a spot of skiing whenever
possible - and the Bay at Grytviken is busy with fishing fleets
arriving for the season. We were lucky enough to get some news
through from Pat Lurcock - the Marine officer - and we present
some of his news first.
In 2002 we had visits as follows:
|Fishing Vessels and cargo ships:
||1 (Braveheart - with radio ham team)
These are ship visits to SG. Some visit KEP
more than once per trip, especially yachts, so we had a total
of 203 harbour visits. Our maximum since reliable record keeping
started in 1992.
Total Harbour visits by year:
Tourism Stats 2002/2003 season.
45 Visits by Cruise ships, including 2 Visits by Big sailing ships:
3,606 passengers and 6,783 altogether (though many crew and staff
will be included here more than once)
14 Yacht visits with 89 people on board (includes Glory of the
Sea - arrived in May)
This year we have had 141 harbour visits up to the end of June
(Last year's 99 was the highest since I started here in 1992,
though 1990 and 1991 were higher with the large Soviet fleets
coming in to tranship) Fishing Licenses: Icefish. Over the 2002/2003
summer, three vessels fished (Chile, UK/FI, Korea) for icefish
and caught 2,158t. (CCAMLR TAC 2,181t) Krill: In 2002 there were
8 vessels fishing (USA, Korea, Ukraine, Japan, Poland) and caught
45,512 tonnes.(CCAMLR TAC 1,056,000t) Toothfish: In 2002 there
were 15 longliners licensed to catch toothfish.
Nations Chile, Korea, Russia, S Africa, Spain, Uruguay, UK (FI
/ St Helena). Total catch 5,535t of TAC 5,400t This year (still
fishing): Toothfish. 18 Licenses. CCAMLR TAC 7,810t. By end of
June 4,696t taken. Krill: So far 9 licenses issued (USA, Korea,
Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Japan). Catch to end of June was 24,755
tonnes - another record.
SOUTH GEORGIA ALBATROSS SURVEYS 2002-2004
Fieldwork Season 2003-2004
A photographic survey of all Black-browed and Grey-headed Albatross
colonies of South Georgia is scheduled from 24 November to 24
December 2003. On-going monitoring of Wandering Albatross nest
distribution, tourist landings and areas visited, and impact of
fur seals on the vegetation of the islands will also be conducted
at 2 key visitor sites - Albatross Island and Prion Island - with
an early November visit to census Wandering Albatross fledglings,
and a second visit in January to count breeding pairs and monitor
fur seal impact. An environmental survey of Annenkov Island is
also scheduled, and will include a census of the island's Wandering
Albatross population, the second largest at South Georgia.
This research programme is financed by the Government of South
Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the United Kingdom
Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Making up the survey team are
Sally Poncet, project coordinator and principal researcher; Graham
Robertson, project co-researcher; Kim Crosbie, researcher for
the South Georgia Visitors Guide; and a member of the Falklands
Conservation Seabirds at Sea Team. The photosurvey is to be done
from the sailing vessel, Ada II owned by Celia Bull and skippered
by Dion Poncet. The survey team will be working in collaboration
with British Antarctic Survey who is providing data from the Bird
Island study colonies and historical data from past surveys.
|The importance of conducting seabird
population censuses is now internationally recognised in the
light of evidence that population declines are a direct result
of seabird mortality due to long-lining fisheries activities.
The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
is committed to working with the international community to
reduce this seabird mortality and an assessment of the current
size of the South Georgia's Wandering Albatross, Black-browed
Albatross and Grey-headed Albatross populations is part of
this effort. In addition, the Government is continuing its
support of the long-term monitoring programme at two key visitor
sites, investigating potential tourism impacts on Wandering
Albatross and the development of appropriate conservation
Falklands-Malvinas - Wednesday, 02 July
BAS farewell to Antarctic veteran mariner.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has finally said goodbye to
its veteran Antarctic captain, Stewart Lawrence, after a series
of farewell parties marking his 33 annual voyages to the Antarctic,
and 42 years at sea.
That wraps up the news
and events for Autumn 2003, but keep an eye out for our next update.