Marine Protected Area

In 2012, GSGSSI created one of the world’s largest, sustainably managed Marine Protected Area (MPA) that encompasses the entire SGSSI Maritime Zone north of 60 °S. The MPA has been carefully designed to ensure the protection and conservation of the regions rich and diverse marine life, while allowing sustainable and carefully regulated fisheries.

The MPA covers a total area of 1.07 million km2, which includes the prohibition of all bottom trawling and a ban on bottom fishing at depths less than 700 m and greater than 2,250 m. No-take zones, extending 12 nautical miles from the coast, were created around South Georgia, Clerke Rocks, Shag and Black Rocks and the South Sandwich Islands, totalling 20,431 km2. Other protection measures within the MPA include a network of benthic no-take-zones (NTZ) in previously popular toothfish fishing areas, and closure of the krill fishery in the summer (November 1st until March 31st), – when krill-eating birds and marine mammals are breeding. All these measures provide refuges for fish, protect the benthos and spawning fish and avoid competition between fisheries and land-based foragers.

The Marine Protected Area Plan can be downloaded here.


Marine Protected Area map

August 1st, 2017

South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands – Marine Protected Area 5-Year Review

(Download .docx version here. Submissions to dof (at) )

The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands is commencing the first 5-year review of its Marine Protected Area (MPA). It is inviting written submissions from stakeholders to inform the review process.

Submissions should be submitted by close Thursday 31 August. They should be evidence-based and respond directly to the focus of the review:

  • To review, and assess the effectiveness of, existing monitoring measures for evaluating the extent to which the objectives of the sustainable use MPA are met;
  • To consider how scientific understanding of the South Georgia Maritime Zone has developed since 2013;
  • To contribute to priorities for future scientific research, including any new research and monitoring that may be necessary;
  • To provide any initial evidence-based assessment of the effectiveness of current management measures and advice on the degree to which evidence might support any revisions to management measures.

An ad-hoc advisory group will convene in November to undertake the review process and consider the submissions. Membership for the group is being invited from a representative range of stakeholder groups with interests in the Marine Protected Area. The group will be tasked to provide a report to Government by end – May 2018.

October 12th, 2017

The Government is pleased to publish written submissions which it has received in relation to the forthcoming MPA review. They can be downloaded here.