GSGSSI Releases Visitor Documentation in Preparation for the 2019/20 Season
Ahead of the 2019/20 visitor season the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) is pleased to publish the new visit permit application forms and accompanying guidance document ‘Visiting South Georgia 2019/20’.
Key changes for the upcoming season include:
- 2019-20 GSGSSI Permit Holder Briefing: We are developing an online briefing and assessment for Permit Holders, which replaces the traditional briefing at KEP. Dispensation for first landings outside of Grytviken, now depends on passing the online assessment for which a certificate valid for 1 season will be issued. More details will be posted on the GSGSSI website in due course.
- Biosecurity Audit: There will be no change to scoring pass rate for 19/20. The system will continue this season, with biosecurity practices of the vessel being assessed and measured. Vessels scoring less than 85% will be required to evidence improved procedures and make the first call of their next visit Grytviken, until a repeat audit shows that biosecurity standards have reached a satisfactory level.
- KEP Wharf Development: In January 2020 construction work will take place at King Edward Point. The existing wharf will be expanded and strengthened such that it can receive the new BAS research vessel Sir David Attenborough. During the construction period the wharf will be closed. This will mean that the track to KEP, will be closed to visitors. Access to Hope Point and the Shackleton Memorial Cross will need to be made by zodiac landing at the eastern end of the shingle beach in front of the station. Government Officers will provide further details.
- Cape Rosa – Restrictions: We have taken the precautionary step of closing access to the gulley and saddle at Cape Rosa Cave Cove. This is due to reports of seabird burrow trampling and erosion. GSGSSI will seek to collect further evidence over the course of the season and update for 2020/21. Please see Cape Rosa Visitor Site Guide for details.
- Undine Harbour & Elsehul: Undine Harbour will be incorporated into the existing designated Visitor Landing Site of Elsehul. This will mean that zodiac landings will be permitted on the southern beach of Undine Harbour as well as from the northern beach of Elsehul providing greater landing opportunity in poor weather conditions. It is the Master’s discretion as to whether Undine or any landing site is safe.
- Biosecurity Detector Dogs:A permanent biosecurity dog programme will commence at the start of the season.