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
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
||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
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.
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 :
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
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
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