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South Georgia ensures environmental protection for its maritime zone until 2028

Tuesday, December 19th 2023 - 09:30 UTC
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Alison Blake CMG, Commissioner for South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, signed the new Charter Party Agreement confirming the continued service of Pharos SG under the operation of WBS Alison Blake CMG, Commissioner for South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, signed the new Charter Party Agreement confirming the continued service of Pharos SG under the operation of WBS

In a significant step towards supporting marine conservation efforts in the South Atlantic, the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) has announced the successful transition of ownership of Pharos Marine Limited (part of the Falklands based Byron group) to Workboat Services Limited, WBS, ensuring the continued operational presence of the vessel MV Pharos SG in the South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands Maritime Zone.

On 15 December 2023, Alison Blake CMG, Commissioner for South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, signed a new Charter Party Agreement confirming the continued service of Pharos SG under the operation of WBS until 2028. The successful transfer of ownership to WBS, a Falklands company, will ensure a seamless continuation of maritime operations out of the city of Stanley. This strategic move not only guarantees the operational continuation of Pharos SG but also strengthens the existing bond between GSGSSI, Falkland Islands community, and Falkland Islands businesses. The vessel’s highly professional and experienced crew, essential to the operation, are offered continuing employment.

Alison Blake CMG, Commissioner for South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, said: “This agreement enables continuity of maritime operations by the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in this globally significant area. It is possible because of our longstanding partnership with the Falkland Islands and the longstanding cooperation between UK Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic. We are confident that this new relationship with Workboat Services Limited will help us ensure the highest standards of maritime and environmental protection in this incredibly special and remote part of the world.”

Laura Sinclair Willis, Chief Executive of SGSSI says: “Protection of this unique ecosystem, including over 1.2 million square kilometers of bio-diverse ocean, would not have been possible without the long-term support of Byron Marine over the past 2 decades. We would like to extend our thanks to Lewis Clifton and fellow Directors for successfully facilitating South Georgia operations up to this point, and look forward to working with Workboat Services into the future.”

Adam Cockwell, Director of Workboat Services Ltd said: “We feel honored to provide vital maritime support to the unique island of South Georgia and look forward to working with the Government in all their operations in the area, building on the success of our Falklands ferry and outer island shipping operation for the Falkland Islands Government. We appreciate GSGSSI’s recognition of and commitment to local Falklands expertise and experience in placing their trust in us to continue the exemplary work of our predecessors, with the continued support of the excellent and well proven crew.”

GSGSSI would like to thank everyone involved in supporting this transition. In particular, the support of the UK Government Blue Belt Program via Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, which enabled provision of specialized maritime legal and drafting advice from UK-based firm Stephenson Harwood.

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