The UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Japan must temporarily halt its whaling program in the Antarctic. It agreed with Australia, which brought the case in May 2010, that the program was not for scientific research as claimed by Tokyo.
After many years of planning, and two field seasons on the ground, the main part of the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, SGSSI, Reindeer Eradication Project is now all but done, according to the latest South Georgia newsletter. An estimated 3.140 animals have been sacrificed over a six-week period.
Poseidon Expeditions has chartered the 114-passenger Sea Spirit for polar operations starting in May 2015. Built as Renaissance V in 1991, the 4,200 gt ship currently operates on charter to Quark Expeditions and is managed by FleetPro Ocean. For the 2015/16 season Poseidon will offer expeditions to Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia.
Argentina celebrated on Tuesday 25 February, the Argentine Antarctica Day, which recalls the 110 years of uninterrupted presence of the country in Antarctica and included among the many activities displayed the scientific research cruise of May 2013 in waters adjoining the South Georgia islands.
The second phase of the government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) project to remove introduced reindeer from South Georgia got underway in early January, reports the latest edition of the South Georgia newsletter.
The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and two IAATO Member Operators, Aurora Expeditions and Oceanwide Expeditions, took part in a live Search and Rescue Communications Exercise in collaboration with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) Ushuaia, Argentina.
Previously uncharted areas of the Southern Ocean have been surveyed by personnel on board Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS Protector. Using its multi-beam echo sounder the ship gathered data off the Sandwich Islands along areas of the Douglas Straits between South Thule and Cook Island for the UK Hydrographic Office to fill in missing data in the Admiralty Charts.
Encouraging and bad news for albatrosses: while the black-browed has been down-listed from 'near threatened' the grey-headed albatross is in rapid decline and considered endangered mainly because of fishing activities, reports the latest edition of the South Georgia Newsletter.
November was a busy month for cruise vessels: eleven cruise ships visited South Georgia between the 9th and 29th, according to the South Georgia Newsletter. One cruise ship, Ortelius, reached the rarely visited South Sandwich Islands and was able to put scientist Tom Hart ashore on Saunders Island where he took soil samples and set up two camera-traps to monitor the penguin colonies.
The government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands has announced it will issue two-year fishing licenses to companies who successfully apply to fish for toothfish and icefish in the SGSSI Maritime Zone, reports the South Georgia Newsletter latest edition.