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Ceremony for Sanfjord Whalerss Memorial Plaque



































































































































































































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   News and Events 

Fishing Matters

The grounding of the two longliners LYN and MORESKO off the mouth of Moraine Fjord (as previously reported) ensured that the last few months have been an extremely busy period for all at King Edward Point.
Moresko aground
A salvage operation on the vessels was initiated following an inspection by Marine Surveyors. The Chilean Tug CALAFATE and barge BRECKNOCK were dispatched from Punta Arenas to tackle the salvage operation and arrived in early July. Work was undertaken to remove the fuel oil from the vessels and all other items of equipment and stores such as fishing gear. The positions of both vessels meant that it was not possible to refloat them. Everything was therefore taken off the vessels which might pose a risk to the environment or safety of navigation for other vessels. This involved the salvage team working in very demanding and hostile conditions.

nets and recovered debris The CALAFATE and the BRECKNOCK departed in mid August with a large quantity of recovered fuel, salvaged equipment and gathered debris.
Following this another Chilean tug, the LUMA, arrived to conduct a beach clean up operation. The embarked team then spent three weeks successfully removing environmentally hazardous material from the shores of Moraine Fjord and the Barff Peninsula.

The Toothfish season closed at the end of August. A total of 18 longliners fished this season. These included vessels registered in the Falkland Islands, St Helena, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Japan, Korea, Chile, Uruguay, Russia.

The total catch for the fleet was just short of the total allowable catch of 7,775 tonnes of Patagonian Toothfish. Again this year, stringent enforcement of CCAMLR regulations resulted in negligible bird mortality being recorded.

Six trawlers also fished for krill this season up until mid September. These included vessels from Japan, Poland, Korea and the Ukraine.

In late August the FPV (Fishery Patrol Vessel) DORADA was diverted from patrol duties in the SG Maritime Zone to assist vessels from Australia and South Africa in the pursuit and apprehension on the High Seas of the longliner, VIARSA 1. The vessel had allegedly been fishing illegally for Toothfish in Australian waters.


This will be another busy season with 44 cruise ship visits planned. 7 expeditions are also planned.
One from Spanish Television has already arrived on the yacht LE SOURIRE. The party plan to complete the Shackleton Crossing, make an attempt on Mt Paget and climb in the Drygalski fjord area.

Other planned expeditions include:
Explorers Corner sea kayaking, Swedish Shackleton Crossing, British Schools Exploration Society based in Husvik, Norwegian Shackleton Crossing and attempt on Mt Sheridan and possibly two Aurora Expeditions Shackleton Crossings.
There are also 3 scientific expeditions planned: The 2003/4 Albatross Survey, a BAS project on Willis Islands and the Sea Mammal Research Unit expedition based at Husvik.

Grytviken Project

In early September the first stage of the Grytviken remediation project commenced. Three vessels: BREMER TIMBER, SEABULK CONDOR and the FPV SIGMA sailed from Stanley with the small construction team and materials to construct the camp to accommodate the main work force. This is now complete.
The main workforce departed from Stanley on 19 October embarked on the RRS JAMES CLARK ROSS and has now arrived.


Commissioner Norway Talks :

Commissioner in Norway

His Excellency Howard Pearce visited Sandefjord and Oslo from 8 to 10 September to discuss cooperation with the Norwegians. Gordon Liddle and David Nicholls accompanied him. Stig Tore Lunde hosted the party.

The Mayor of Sandefjord hosted a dinner for the party on their first night. Tuesday 9 September was given over to briefing local dignitaries and politicians on the clean up of Grytviken Whaling Station. The Commissioner then met the Norwegian press and gave interviews. His interviews were broadcast on national TV and in the papers.
In the afternoon he met the Minister for Culture and then attended the ceremony of the arrival of the steel sheet from Grytviken that is to become a memorial plate bearing the names of all those Norwegian Whalers who lost their lives in South Georgia. The memorial is to be the centre piece of a chapel that is to be built on the water front in Sandefjord.

The Commissioner then went on to Oslo and met the junior Minister for the Environment and had a positive discussion.
In conclusion the Norwegians have shown much interest in the preservation of their cultural heritage on South Georgia and indicated they will do all they can to help to shoulder the burden.

South Georgia Association Conference

The Commissioner attended the opening day of the 3 day South Georgia Association Conference that was held at both the Scott Polar Research Centre and at the British Antarctic Survey's Headquarters in Cambridge from 17 to 20 September .

Mr Gordon Liddle The South Georgia Operations Manager attended the whole Conference. The three days were given over to South Georgia's Environment, Marine Resources, Visitors, Heritage and Management. Workshop Sessions covered Tourism, Conservation and Cultural Heritage.

The Conference produced many new and good ideas for South Georgia. GSGSSSI was complemented for its sound environmental management and its successful fishing and tourist industries. Clearly the Grytviken hazardous materials clean up (asbestos & oils) dominated early discussion, as this will require GSGSSI to use all of its financial reserves to achieve. Gordon Liddle in his rounding up speech described the numerous sources of Government advice and looked forward to positive advice coming from the SG Association.

South Georgia Museum Annual Report.
Tim and Pauline Carr have written and published their twelfth annual report on the South Georgia Museum. The report describes positive new developments in exhibits and is illustrated with photographs from Onne Van der Wal.

That wraps up the news and events for Oct 2003

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