The Government of South Georgia’s first 5-year review of the sustainable use Marine Protected Area (MPA) has started off with a two-day workshop held at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. The workshop was attended by the ad-hoc Advisory group pulled together by the South Georgia Government and comprised of scientists, the fishing industry (including Peter Thomson, our Operational Director), the tourist industry, non-governmental organisations and an independent reviewer (Dr Alistair Dunn, MPI New Zealand). The workshop was chaired by Dr Colin Clubbe, Head of Conservation Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The ad-hoc advisory group considered how the scientific understanding of the Maritime Zone had developed in the 5 years since the MPA was designated and assessed the effectiveness of current management and monitoring measures. Priorities for future scientific research and monitoring were considered, including in the context of evidence of ecosystem change and future threats such as climate change and biosecurity.
The group will now begin to synthesise a report to the Government based on the workshop discussions and conclusions. This will include advice or recommendations for consideration by the Government. The report is due to be submitted to the South Georgia Government by May 2018.