Friday, February 22nd 2013 - 17:38 UTC

Foreign Office pledges more marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean

The Foreign Office said that the UK is striving to ensure that all fishing undertaken in the Southern Ocean is carefully managed and sustainable and that the current FCO focus is supporting international work to establish a network of Southern Ocean Marine Protected Areas.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘Fish Fight’ program was dedicated to the South Georgia and South Sandwich fisheries  (Photo: N. Crudden)

Foreign Office Minister for the Polar Regions Mark Simmonds made the comments on fish stocks around South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands following on the British television Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘Fish Fight’ program latest weekly episode which was dedicated precisely to the Southern Ocean.

In the presentation of his program Hugh, who is a sponsor of marine protected areas says that with two thirds of the planets fish stocks being over-fished, and a fifth having collapsed altogether, he aims to persuade governments around the world to set up more marine protected areas, to rebalance our seas and to allow people to continue enjoying the benefits of eating fish.

And even in that remote part of the planet, the Southern Ocean “Hugh finds out about the high-tech fishery targeting krill, the tiny shrimp at the bottom of the food chain, eaten by creatures such as whales, penguins and seals, but increasingly being eaten by humans, whether they are being used as feed to turn salmon pink or to make krill oil tablets – part of the lucrative chain of omega 3 health products”.

Minister Simmonds praised the program and welcomed the attention that Hugh has brought to the issue of fishing in the Southern Ocean, since South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands has unique and internationally important biodiversity.

“The Marine Protected Area declared last year covers over 1,000,000 square kilometers and within the MPA all destructive bottom trawling activities are prohibited and there is a full no-take marine reserve covering 20,000 square kilometers. Last month, new protective measures were announced, including seasonal closures, a ban on all bottom fishing deeper than 2,250 meters and additional no-take areas within the existing MPA” pointed out Minister Simmonds in his comments.

He added that it is of global importance that sustainable sources of marine protein be found and by demonstrating that a truly well-managed and sustainable fishery can be delivered around South Georgia, the UK is showing leadership to others.

“As a result, the toothfish fishery, and parts of the icefish and krill fishery have all achieved Marine Stewardship Council accreditation”.

Finally, “I am proud of the UK’s stewardship of this remote Overseas Territory and the UK’s role in striving to ensure that all fishing undertaken in the Southern Ocean is carefully managed and sustainable. Our current focus is supporting international work to establish a network of Southern Ocean Marine Protected Areas”.

11 comments Feed

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1 CaptainSilver (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 06:11 pm Report abuse
Great that these very special areas are protected by Britain. Looking forward to a much bigger area protected from any form of fishing around these islands as Hugh suggests. This would be a great example for the rest of the world. All species in the sea need refuge areas in which to breed which is what he is suggesting.
2 redpoll (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 09:27 pm Report abuse
Agreed Long John Even there our resident Think cant go fishing any more
3 José Malvinero (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 11:29 pm Report abuse
The okupas, first they prey and then they pretend to be concerned.
4 Conor J (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 12:06 am Report abuse
NO, I am afraid that her Majesties armed forces have proved your belief wrong since 1982.
5 redpoll (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 12:06 am Report abuse
You seem to be preoccupied with the okupas? You one of them living in a derelict BA cinema? How are the fleas in your squat?
6 Anglotino (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 12:46 am Report abuse
I love reading the history of Argentina's claim to the South Georgia's and South Sandwich Islands.

It verges in the farcical tinged with lebensraum thinking.
7 reality check (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 10:28 am Report abuse
Ah, the southern islands, ain't that the place where they sneak in, raise a flag and sneak out again. Reminds me of that epic struggle between poacher and game keeper!
8 lsolde (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 10:41 am Report abuse
Wrong again, José.
They never have been yours & they never will be.
Tough for you, but you'll get over it l'm sure.
The southern lslands are going to be a British base to rule Antarctica.
Sorry for you because Argentina will have broken up into a lot of smaller ineffectual independent countries by then.
Easily managed by us & Chile.
9 Conqueror (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 06:27 pm Report abuse
@3 Captain James Cook claimed South Georgia for Britain in 1775. 41 years before argieland existed. But, even without that, South Georgia was discovered by a British merchant in April 1675. In case you're wondering, Spain never claimed South Georgia. There was, for a while, a whaling company called Compañía Argentina de Pesca. But since that was operated by a Norwegian, who quickly applied for British nationality, it doesn't help you much. By the way, according to the Treaty of Tordesillas, South Georgia is in the Portuguese portion. Argieland has even less claim to the South Sandwich Islands. Besides, if you try to take them again, we'll probably have to kill you! Would you like to be first? Or are you as gutless as you are mouthy?
10 briton (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 07:15 pm Report abuse
With all these threats and things from Argentina’s CFK ,
And poss. hostages [of the penguins]

It is very wise the British are and will protect these unarmed peaceful defenceless creatures,
Is it not,

Once bitten , twice shy…
11 row82 (#) Feb 26th, 2013 - 11:40 pm Report abuse
Please support this page - Falklands Forever British - dedicated to Falkland Islands current affairs, keeping the islands free and poking fun at the lunacy of the Argentine government and their various claims and winding up their Internet trolls -

Please support our other page - Falkland Islands Desire The Right - dedicated to Falkland Islands current affairs -

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