South Georgia Newsletter, September 2014

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- Disclaimer: This newsletter is not produced by GSGSSI; it does not necessarily reflect their views.

Top Marks For SG Patagonian Toothfish Fishery Certification

Jim Andrews (from the certifying body Intertek) presents the MSC certificate to Martin Collins during the Fisheries Science – Industry meeting in the FCO on September 16th 2014.
Jim Andrews (from the certifying body Intertek) presents the MSC certificate to Martin Collins during the Fisheries Science – Industry meeting in the FCO on September 16th 2014.

Following its five-yearly Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment, the South Georgia Patagonian toothfish longline fishery has, for the third time, been certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery. MSC is the world’s leading certification and ecolabel program for wild-caught environmentally sustainable seafood.

Originally certified in 2004, the South Georgia Patagonian toothfish fishery was recertified in 2009 and has just completed its second re-assessment. Once again there are no conditions on the certification and the fishery scored an average of 96 out of 100 against the three MSC principles, making it one of the world’s highest scoring fisheries assessed against MSC standards.

Building on this success, the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI), who manage the fishery, has pledged a continued commitment to further improving the fishery. This will include an extensive programme of scientific work in order to support the management of the fishery over the next 5 years.

Dr Martin Collins OBE, Chief Executive of the GSGSSI says: “We are delighted that the toothfish fishery has been recertified and the excellent scores attained reflect the efforts made by the GSGSSI, its scientific consultants and fishing industry to ensure the fishery is managed sustainably. South Georgia is a unique environment and the GSGSSI will continue in its efforts to improve all aspects of the fishery.”

Foreign Office Minister, James Duddridge MP said: "I am delighted that the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands have, once again, demonstrated their world-class standards in managing the toothfish fishery. Marine Stewardship Council recertification recognises the UK’s commitment to high environmental standards, with this unique Overseas Territory continues to achieve with its exemplary management of sustainable fisheries and marine protection.”

The fishery is managed by GSGSSI with scientific advice and support from the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (Cefas) and from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Significant Progress Made In 2014

The ‘GSGSSI Annual Report 2014’ was published on this website on September 2nd. The 14-page (4mb) document can be downloaded from this website here. The report is intended to showcase the main activities of GSGSSI in the 2013/2014 period to stake-holders, and give a flavour of what is planned for the next 12 months. As well as giving readers an update on fisheries, tourism, GSGSSI finances and the on going legislative review, the report served to highlight some of the more unusual project work being undertaken by the Government.

Of particular note were the large heritage projects that were tackled in the 2013/14 season including the renovation of Nybrakke, or the New Barracks. Funding was provided by both the UK and Norwegian Governments with the main priority being to ensure the building was watertight, to prevent further deterioration and to sympathetically renovate the exterior. Over the course of several months Nybrakke was re-roofed, exterior woodwork and windows were repaired, the windows were re-glazed and the building repainted. Work was also carried out to remedy flooding of the basement, something that has been a major on-going issue. Other heritage works that featured in the report were the renovation of the windows in the Engineers Workshop and Main Store and stabilisation of the Stromness whaling station Managers Villa.

Details are given of several projects which have helped to raise public awareness of the heritage of South Georgia including; the filming of the hugely popular ‘Britain’s Whale Hunters: The Untold Story’; a visit by Øyas Venner (Norwegian Friends of the Island) who came to South Georgia in December to celebrate the centenary of the church at Grytviken; and the Geometria laser surveys at Leith which are a powerful tool in bringing to life the derelict whaling stations in a way that can be appreciated by all.

It was not all about celebrating the past though, and the report also highlights the significant progress made on various environmental initiatives, which should protect South Georgia’s wildlife now and into the future. Of note was the completion of the second phase of the reindeer eradication project that saw Norwegian marksmen shoot some 3,140 animals, the South Georgia Heritage Trust monitoring trip, the new strategic weed management initiative which has received funding from Darwin Plus, and the GSGSSI long-term monitoring work which aims to track changes in bird and vegetation communities.

Finally, there is a chance to get to know the people behind the e-mail addresses, with a short biography for each member of the GSGSSI team and highlights of some of the activities undertaken by staff members.

Work was done to preserve the old Managers Villa at Stromness.
Work was done to preserve the old Managers Villa at Stromness.

Gough Island Top Priority For Future Eradications

Researchers have developed a new way to evaluate priority targets for eradication of invasive species on the UK Overseas Territory islands. Invasive alien species are one of the primary threats to native biodiversity on islands and with over 2,000 islands in the 11 UK Overseas Territories covering subtropical to Antarctic climates, deciding which islands will most merit eradication work is a tall order. Researchers also recognised there were a limited resources available to carry out eradications and sought a better method of identifying which islands would be best to tackle. The researchers said that eradications undertaken so far have prioritised those islands small enough to tackle or have looked at a narrow group of native species under threat from invasives. The new approach takes a wider view of all threatened native terrestrial vertebrates and all invasive terrestrial vertebrates and takes into account eradication feasibility and other factors.

Dr Oppel, co-author of the paper ‘Prioritizing Islands for the Eradication of Invasive Vertebrates in the United Kingdom Overseas Territories’ which was published in ‘Conservation Biology’ told Mark Kinver of BBC News how the prioritisation list was compiled: "In all of the territories, we consulted people working there and compiled data on the islands themselves - its size, number of people living there and we got data on all of the native vertebrates, including their population and conservation status. We also compiled data on all of the invasive species on each island. It seems like very basic information but for many islands, especially in places like the Falkland Islands, there are hundreds of islands where no-one lives. So it was quite a large undertaking to get this data for every island within the UK overseas territories.”

Using the new system the list of the top 25 priority islands, which included South Georgia, was topped by Gough Island (near Tristan da Cunha). Gough is home to seven globally threatened species, but just one invasive alien vertebrate - the house mouse. "Mice on Gough Island are known to eat albatross and petrel chicks," Dr Oppel said. "You might think that an albatross chick is many times the size of a mouse, but the mice eat them alive - they just nibble away. If you have several mice biting chunks out of the same albatross chick, it just dies. Albatrosses can only breed every two years and only have one chick. If none of those chicks survive then the population can decline quite rapidly."

If all 25 top priority islands were tackled to eradicate invasive vertebrates the researchers claim the work would benefit 155 native species including 45 globally threatened species.

Work to remove the only introduced vertebrates from South Georgia: reindeer; rats and mice, is already well advanced and may be complete by early 2015.

Fishing and Shipping News

HMS Protector and HMS Iron Duke were both briefly in Cumberland Bay together. Photo Patrick Lurcock.
HMS Protector and HMS Iron Duke were both briefly in Cumberland Bay together. Photo Patrick Lurcock.

Two Royal Navy vessels made port calls to Cumberland Bay at the end of September. HMS Iron Duke was on patrol in South Georgia waters and paid a two-day visit to Cumberland Bay. A helicopter was deployed from the ship to assist GSGSSI by carrying out an aerial survey of the Barff Peninsula looking for any remaining reindeer following the main eradication on the peninsula last summer. A small number of animals were known to have remained and the aerial survey saw a small group of the animals in Penguin Bay.

HMS Protector arrived at the same time having encountered hurricane force conditions at sea and come further south than planned to avoid the poor conditions. The ship called into King Edward Cove for a few hours to collect some scientific equipment.

This small group of reindeer was seen at Penguin Bay. Photo HMS Iron Duke.
This small group of reindeer was seen at Penguin Bay. Photo HMS Iron Duke.

There were five trawlers operating in the krill fishery at the beginning of September. Two vessels left the fishery in the first week and average catches were lower than they had been. Two more trawlers left the fishery the following week as bad weather continued to affect catches. Once the weather improved the final trawler had improved catches.

One trawler that had been fishing for krill was relicensed to fish for icefish. Two reefers anchored in Cumberland Bay during September and were attended by several trawlers making transhipments.

The US Research vessel Nathaniel B Palmer was in the SG Maritime area undertaking seismic surveys at sea and installing of a network of three satellite navigation signal receiving stations in three remote areas on the island. These will be used to accurately measure the movement (horizontal, vertical, twist and tilt) of the Island over time. The results could help to confirm or disprove that South Georgia is on its own tectonic plate, effectively making it a very small continent.

The 2014-15 tourist season got underway with the arrival of two charter yachts. Pelagic Australis and Podorange were both supporting expeditionary groups who were skiing and mountaineering.

History Of Reindeer – New Stamp Release

A new set of four stamps depicting the history of reindeer on South Georgia was released on October 14th.

65p stamp. Reindeer were first introduced in 1911.
65p stamp. Reindeer were first introduced in 1911.

In 1911 Lauritz Larsen, the manager of the Ocean Harbour whaling station, and his brother Carl Anton Larsen, introduced ten reindeer to the Barff Peninsula as a reminder of home and for recreational hunting. In a letter to the then Magistrate (Edward Binnie), CA Larsen wrote “I feel sure they will thrive and become prolific in time, if they are left alone, which would most assuredly be an asset to South Georgia”. Further introductions were made to the Busen Area in 1911 and 1925 and, as Larsen suggested, the reindeer thrived. During the whaling era numbers were controlled by hunting to a certain degree.

75p stamp. Female reindeer and fawn.
75p stamp. Female reindeer and fawn.

Since the 1980s no hunting or management of the herd has occurred, and as a consequence the herds expanded substantially. Reindeer overgrazed plant communities; the removal of the vegetation cover and, consequently the topsoil had negative consequences for native burrowing birds such as prions and petrels as nest entrances were exposed and burrows more prone to collapse.

£1 stamp. Reindeer grazing.
£1 stamp. Reindeer grazing.

South Georgia’s large glaciers acted as natural barriers to the reindeer and restricted them to two peninsulas. However, rapid glacial retreat meant that soon these dispersal barriers were likely be removed and so urgent action was required to prevent reindeer from spreading to new areas and causing further damage to the native flora and fauna.

As no one had ever before attempted a reindeer eradication, GSGSSI consulted with a wide range of experts to determine the most appropriate technique. Work to remove the remaining reindeer from South Georgia began in January 2013. The first herd to be tackled was the smaller Busen herd that stemmed from an introduction of seven animals at Husvik in 1925. Two methods were used. In central areas a team of Sami reindeer experts gathered the reindeer into a corral where approximately 1,000 were humanely killed under veterinary supervision. Meat was recovered from these animals. In outlying areas, where the terrain meant it was not possible to herd, 1,012 animals were shot by experienced marksmen from the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate (SNO).

The second area occupied by reindeer was the Barff Peninsula. This population originated from ten animals that were introduced to Ocean Harbour in 1911. Some animals were shot in this area in 2013 and the following year six Norwegian marksmen returned and shot more than three thousand animals in a six-week period. A small number of animals are known to remain and it is planned that these will be shot in early 2015.

£1.20 stamp. SNO marksman during the eradication.
£1.20 stamp. SNO marksman during the eradication.

Projects have been established to monitor vegetation and bird communities to track the recovery of the island’s ecosystems after the eradication. Although it will take a number of years for the full benefits of the eradication to be realised, there are already signs of vegetation recovery. The eradication of reindeer is one of a number of projects (including eradication of rats, mice and non-native plants) that are designed to safeguard the native species, habitats and landscape of the unique environment of South Georgia.

South Georgia stamps and First Day Covers can be bought from

Tri, Tri and Tri Again

A late winter mountaineering expedition had to adapt their plans several times to achieve any mountaineering objectives. The ‘2014 Salvesen Range Expedition’, jointly-led by experienced South Georgia mountaineers Stephen Venables and Skip Novak, had initially intended to climb several mountains in the south of the island. The six-person climbing team was supported by expedition yacht Pelagic Australis. The adventures started well before the boat arrived at the island as strong cold winds caused a build-up of ice on the deck and in the rigging which they spent an “exciting” two days chipping off, as too much weight accumulating higher up on the yacht increased the risk of capsize.

The dangerous build-up of ice in the rigging had to be chipped off.
The dangerous build-up of ice in the rigging had to be chipped off.

The out-of-season visit came about because, on his last visit to the Island in 2010, Stephen Venables had suggested a winter expedition may work well because he would expect there to be better snow cover and more stable weather than in the summertime. The group arrived near their first objectives in late August, but severe weather made landing difficult. An attempt to climb out of Larsen Harbour to the Philippi Glacier pulling sledges with 16-days supplies came to a halt half way up the steep slope from where, with more harsh weather forecast, they abandoned their plans to climb in the Salvesen Range and set about lowering the heavily laden pulks back down to the beach. Stephen Venables, who had been planning the expedition for two years, admitted feeling depressed by the failure but his previous experience on South Georgia had taught him that any day you make progress is a bonus.

A new plan was formulated to try easily accessible day tours followed by a more ambitious camping trip in the Allardyce Range. On August 29th the team skied up and down Black Peak on the Barff Peninsula followed by a ski ascent of Petrel Peak on the Thatcher Peninsula the next day.

The next plan was for a short ski and sledging trip from Possession Bay to Fortuna Bay via the Kohl Plateau, but as the yacht entered Possession Bay “all hell broke loose” as bad weather hit again. The group did land but vicious katabatic winds and hard ice underfoot made skiing impossible so they cramponed up to the Shackleton Gap then turned east onto the Briggs Glacier to camp. The weather improved the next day, so they moved camp to below the central peak of the Trident. They were trapped in the camp the next day by poor weather, but on the fourth day it improved and they skied up to the col between the Middle and South Trident peaks. Middle Peak, the highest and most interesting summit, was their first objective. They later described the climb to the summit at 1337m as “a beautiful, classically alpine climb” and they enjoyed fabulous views. It was obviously a rare day as Stephen Venables described it as “the best day he had ever had in six visits to South Georgia”.

Another summit was reached the next day – a first ascent of South Peak, which features a summit nipple with only enough room for one person to stand on top at a time. The third, North Peak, was climbed the following day.

There was only room on the summit for one person at a time.
There was only room on the summit for one person at a time.

Plans to continue towards the König Glacier were abandoned as poor weather, with worse forecast, hit once more. The team decided to cut their losses and retreat to Possession Bay from where they were recovered by the yacht ready for the trip out to the Falklands. There, speaking to a Penguin News reporter in Stanley, they happily described the expedition as a, “comprehensive failure” from which they “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat”.

Asked if, with the Salvesen range still unfinished business, they will be heading back to take on the six peaks in the Salvesen Range another day? Stephen Venables said South Georgia was “a hard habit to break.” His next trip south however is in 2016 to the Antarctic Peninsula. However Skip Novak, who led on all three successful ascents, will be back sooner as he and his yacht Pelagic Australis will be supporting a science group from Maine University working on an ice coring project in 2015.

You can download read the full expedition report here [pdf].

The mountaineers and those who stayed aboard the boat toast ‘the Boss’ at Shackleton’s grave. Photos Skip Novak.
The mountaineers and those who stayed aboard the boat toast ‘the Boss’ at Shackleton’s grave. Photos Skip Novak.

Shackleton: Recreating The World’s Greatest Journey Of Survival

A book review by David Tatham

In 1916 Sir Ernest Shackleton sailed in a small boat with five companions from Elephant Island in the Antarctic 800 miles across wild seas to South Georgia; he landed and trekked across the uncharted mountains of the Island and returned south to rescue the remainder of his party. It was an epic of survival and no-one who has since attempted the Shackleton Double (the voyage and the climb) has succeeded in repeating his achievement – until last year that is.

This book, ‘Shackleton’s Epic: Recreating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival’, is an account of the ‘Shackleton Epic Expedition’ by its leader Tim Jarvis. In it he describes his successful venture to follow in Shackleton’s wake across the ocean and in his footsteps over the mountains. It is a handsomely produced volume with excellent photographs and the similarities and the differences of the two explorers’ experiences are instructive.

Tim Jarvis sets out the slow and frustrating process of recruiting and equipping the expedition. He had determined that as far as possible he would recreate Shackleton’s original conditions. This meant firstly an exact reproduction of the 23-foot James Caird, built by the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft, to be named the Alexandra Shackleton (after Sir Ernest’s granddaughter, the expedition’s patron). But in addition original clothing, food and navigational equipment were required – historic Burberry fabrics not Goretex, ‘hoosh’ not high vitamin diets, sextants not Satnav.

With four previous expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic under his belt, Tim Jarvis knew what sort of companions he was looking for and selected five men: Nick Bubb, Baz Grey, Paul Larsen, Seb Coulthard and Ed Wardle who each brought their particular talents to the expedition. But all were united by their determination and toughness. Their venture took five years in preparation. Like Shackleton, fundraising engaged much of Tim Jarvis’s time. He realised that without media sponsorship the expedition would never be launched and reached agreement with the Discovery Channel. In contrast to Shackleton who was obliged to take to his boat by disaster and the need to survive, Jarvis had to secure governmental permissions, obtain insurance, prepare environmental impact assessments, charter a support ship to accompany the Alexandra Shackleton for safety reasons and to provide the cameramen with their base, then charter a second support ship when the first dropped out and finally arrange for the transport of Alexandra Shackleton to Antarctica. Of the 265 pages of this book, 110 are devoted to the preparations before the boat set off from Elephant Island.

The voyage is described in vivid detail: the authentic clothing which proved totally unsuitable; the cramped conditions – six men in a double bed; the diet – an excruciating description of the joys of ‘hoosh’; and the constant danger, a tiny craft surrounded by icy waters, soaked by threatening waves . The Alexandra Shackleton, in many ways the star of this account, withstood everything that sea and the weather could throw at her and after 10 days the party landed in King Haakon Bay on the rocky south coast of South Georgia to prepare their climb.

Once ashore the soaked and exhausted sailors, three of them suffering from trench foot, had to face Discovery’s cameramen. (Something Sir Ernest had been spared when he left his benefactors Sir James Caird and Miss Stancomb-Wills safely at home as he sailed away). While Tim Jarvis could appreciate the need for “a complete download while emotions were raw and unsullied”, media demands, including the mandatory “how did you feel?” question, frequently sat uneasily with the role of the leader and his duty to put his team’s welfare first.

The camera team followed Jarvis, Baz Grey and Paul Larson on their last stage into the mountains but were obliged to turn back; the three were left alone to their trek. Conditions were worse than Shackleton had faced – high winds, soft snow and numerous crevasses made progress slow and the party were obliged to spend 96 hours – two nights camping - on the ice fields, against Shackleton’s 36, before they reached Stromness and journey’s end. On February 14th the team met their patron at Shackleton’s grave in Grytviken and drank a toast to ‘the Boss’. They had achieved the Shackleton Double.

Tim Jarvis has written a clear, vivid yet understated account of the ‘Shackleton Epic Expedition’ in the best tradition of British exploration literature. He refers frequently to the accounts of Sir Ernest and of skipper Frank Worsley as his team faced the challenges which they had confronted nearly one hundred years before. This is a gripping record of a venture which its patron Alexandra Shackleton describes in her foreword to this book as “a thoroughly Shackletonian expedition”. Jarvis’s account is worthy of his team and of their remarkable achievement. I heartily recommend it.

Shackleton’s Epic: Recreating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival, by Tim Jarvis is published by William Collins, 265 pages, £25.

ISBN-10: 0007549520

ISBN-13: 978-0007549528

A USA edition is also available entitled ‘Chasing Shackleton’.

ISBN-10: 0062282735

ISBN-13: 978-0062282736

This review was first published in the Falkland Islands Association newsletter.

New Books

Antarctic Wilderness: South Georgia (Antarktische Wildnis: Südgeorgien)

Thies Matzen and Kicki Ericson recently spent two years (including two winters) at South Georgia on their historic wooden yacht Wanderer III where they enjoyed the solitude whilst being surrounded by stunning nature. Their experiences living on an island with very few people but hundreds of thousands of penguins, elephant seals and albatrosses are brought to life in this beautiful photographic book.

Thies Matzen and Kicki Ericson have sailed together for 25 years, criss-crossing the world's oceans in the nine-meter-long Wanderer III as their transport and home. Kicki Ericson is an architect specializing in preservation; Thies Matzen is a boat builder, photographer and author. ‘Antarktische Wildnis: Südgeorgien’ by Thies Matzen and Kicki Ericson will be published on October 7th. The mainly photographic book has original text in German, but an additional English translation of all the text is available which you can request when ordering the book by email from

The hardcover book has 168 pages and costs Euro 58.

Format 30 × 26cm ISBN-978-3-86648-230-2

Shackleton – By Endurance We Conquer By Michael Smith

This, the first new biography of Sir Ernest Shackleton in twenty years, will be published in October. Ernest Shackleton is one of history’s great explorers, an extraordinary character who pioneered the path to the South Pole over 100 years ago, became a dominant figure in Antarctic discovery and whose experiences ended up linking him to South Georgia for ever. The charismatic personality of this Anglo-Irishman and his incredible adventures on four expeditions have captivated generations and inspired a dynamic, modern following in business leadership, but Shackleton was a flawed character whose chaotic private life, marked by romantic affairs, unfulfilled ambitions, overwhelming debts and failed business ventures, contrasted with his celebrity status as a leading explorer.

Drawing on extensive research of original diaries and personal correspondence, Michael Smith's definitive biography brings a fresh perspective to our understanding of this complex man and the heroic age of polar exploration.

This 456 page hardback book will be published on October 2nd by Collins Press.

Available in bookshops and online from

ISBN-10: 1848891768

ISBN-13: 978-1848891760

To reserve a signed copy you can email: or telephone the publishers on 00 353 21434 7717

Bird Island Diary

By Jessica Walkup, Albatross Zoological Field Assistant (ZFA) at the BAS Research Station at Bird Island.

September marks the official start of spring for the bird ZFAs, myself and Jerry. On the 1st of September I started checking a study colony of grey-headed albatross daily for the first returning birds. Each day I approached the colony with mounting anticipation hoping to see the first adult grey-heads since early June when they stopped returning to the island to feed their fully-grown chicks. After a week of disappointment I finally arrived at the colony in the second week and was greeted by a keen grey-head back a day or two ahead of its counterparts. It is brilliant to see the birds again with fresh eyes; after working with them daily last summer their absence has made me appreciate their stunning plumage and distinctive brightly coloured beaks anew. A couple of weeks later I saw the first black-browed albatrosses return to the skies above the island too.

This grey-headed albatross was one of the first to return to Bird Island this year after spending the winter months at sea.
This grey-headed albatross was one of the first to return to Bird Island this year after spending the winter months at sea.

Meanwhile Jerry has also been busy surveying part of the island for nesting Northern giant petrels. “Any eggs yet?” became the standard greeting when Jerry returned from his rounds until the first egg was laid mid-month. He is now very busy recording new nests daily and identifying the parent birds by their numbered coloured rings. Being the photo-wizz he is, Jerry also set up a number of camera traps at giant petrel nests he suspected to be susceptible to predation by brown skuas, who also returned to the island this month.

Amazingly he captured video footage of skuas working in pairs to distract the considerably larger incubating petrels, pull them off their nests by the tips of their wings and steal their egg from right under them, literally.

Jerry arrives at a giant petrel nests and sets about recording the identities of the adult birds. Soon his study area will be covered in blue stakes marking hundreds of nests.
Jerry arrives at a giant petrel nests and sets about recording the identities of the adult birds. Soon his study area will be covered in blue stakes marking hundreds of nests.

Throughout the month, we have had increasing numbers of large male elephant seals hauling out on the beaches around the base. Elephant seal adults are not nearly as common a sight here as they are at King Edward Point so their appearance creates some excitement. We have even seen a couple of males exchange blows as they come face to face in the shallows of the bay, an impressive sight and a first for all of us. We are now desperately hoping that at least one or two females haul out to pup in the coming weeks.

Spot the odd one out: A bull elephant seal is hauled out among some fur seals. Photos Jessica Walkup.
Spot the odd one out: A bull elephant seal is hauled out among some fur seals. Photos Jessica Walkup.

It was all hands on deck for a good ‘spring clean’ spurred on in part by the planned arrival of some geological scientists from the American ship the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer. With everywhere looking shiny and ship-shape, and a plethora of baked goods prepared for our guests who were to be the first new faces we would see in 204 days, we were a little disappointed when poor weather scuppered the plans to bring people ashore. Thankfully, we could ease any feelings of disappointment by eating all the cakes I had made!

South Georgia Snippets

Want to know more about CCAMLR?: The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. This was in response to increasing interest in fishing for krill, a keystone component of the Antarctic ecosystem. CCAMLR manages the marine resources the Southern Ocean, south of the Antarctic Polar Front, and practises an ecosystem-based management approach. This does not exclude harvesting as long as such harvesting is carried out in a sustainable manner and takes account of the effects of fishing on other components of the ecosystem.

If you want to know more about the organisation, CCAMLR have produced an infomercial video. You can see the 5-minute video explaining their role, which includes footage of longliners working in the rough Antarctic waters here.

Why he wears a ring: A wandering albatross with a ring was spotted by an observer on a fishing vessel. The orange ring numbered ‘402’ was reported to the scientists at Bird Island who were able to tell us of the birds chequered love life. The male bird was ringed on Bird Island as a chick in 1981 – 33 years ago. He returned to the island as a non-breeder for the first time in 1987, and again the next year, but it was only on his third visit, in the summer of 1991/92, he successfully attracted a mate with whom he had an egg; but the egg did not hatch. The pair tried again the following year and successfully raised a chick, and the pair bred successfully twice more. Sadly 402’s partner did not return after that. It was six years before he found a new partner, but he did breed successfully again in the summer of 2002/03, and then only bred on Bird Island once more with another partner a full ten years after that, but the attempt failed. The scientists say they expect to see him back at Bird Island this summer.

A sharp-eyed observer saw this ring and captured this photo to identify the bird. Photo Illia Slyko.
A sharp-eyed observer saw this ring and captured this photo to identify the bird. Photo Illia Slyko.

Beautiful video by KEP staff member: A film entered into the Open category of the Antarctic mid-winter film festival by Matthew Phillips, boatman at KEP, scored well. The 4-minute film shot during last summer was judged 3rd for Best Film, 2nd for Cinematography and 3rd for Screenplay. You can enjoy this beautiful short film by clicking here.

Dates for your Diary

A hundred years ago Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition was underway and so most of the events highlighted in this section relate to Shackleton Centenary events. Shackleton had strong links to South Georgia and is buried at Grytviken in the cemetery.

Shackleton - an Epic Adventure: A talk on the Shackleton Epic Expedition by Barry Gray in Plymouth, UK, on October 30th will be raising money for the Poppy Appeal and the Royal Marine Charitable Trust Fund.

The crew of six British and Australian adventurers who were on the Shackleton Epic Expedition in 2013 claim to be the first to authentically re-enact one of the most remarkable survival stories ever. Barry Gray was part of that team and will tell you the story of their perilous journey over 800 miles of the roughest ocean on the planet in a replica 7m whaler lifeboat, followed by the dangerous crossing of the interior mountain range of South Georgia.

There will also be music from the Cadet Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines and speakers from both the Royal British Legion and the Royal Marines. Attendees are welcomed to use the Sergeant's Mess of Royal Marine Barracks before and after the presentation which will be from 7pm -9pm in The Globe Theatre, Royal Marine Barracks, Stonehouse, Plymouth.

Tickets cost £10. More information here.

Shackleton’s Legacy: A one-day joint meeting of the South Georgia Association and Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) will explore ‘Shackleton’s Legacy’ in a series of talks and presentations. ‘Shackleton’s Legacy’ will be held at SPRI in Cambridge on November 8th. The programme of events is designed to go beyond the retelling the story of the ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition by examining, instead, the achievements of Shackleton and his men, and demonstrating the subsequent development in leadership skills, Antarctic science and expedition techniques.

The event is open to the general public but seating is limited to 120 so book early. Admission £25.00 (includes morning coffee, buffet lunch and afternoon tea).

23/10 Update: The event is now fully booked.

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