The Case for a Fully Protected South Sandwich Islands Marine Reserve

The Case for a Fully Protected South Sandwich Islands Marine Reserve

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) are home to up to a quarter of the world’s penguins and some of the most diverse life on the planet. The SGSSI Government is reviewing the marine protections given to this area throughout 2018. Currently, only 2 percent of the SGSSI marine environment is fully protected from fishing, but the hope is the United Kingdom will upgrade the South Sandwich Islands to a fully protected marine reserve. The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project, working as part of the Great British Oceans Coalition, is calling for the full protection of over 500,000 square kilometers of ocean around the South Sandwich Islands. This area would be twice the size of the United Kingdom itself, and aid in the protection of nesting penguins and hydrothermal vents alike.  Learn more about the South Sandwich Islands and why they’re worth protecting here.

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South Sandwich Islands
South Sandwich Islands
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Seas of the South Sandwich Islands Merit Protection Now

The U.K. government should seize the chance to establish a gold-standard reserve

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In a remote and wind-swept area of the Southern Ocean, over 2,500 kilometres east of South America, sits South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The islands and the surrounding seas are teeming with wildlife, including penguins, whales, fur seals, and albatrosses. Such globally significant wildlife—and the fact that a large proportion of these waters are isolated and unexploited by people—makes the area ripe for strong conservation efforts.