Identifying Potential Marine Protected Areas in South Georgia

Identifying Potential Marine Protected Areas in South Georgia

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
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Dates / Project duration

January 2009 - November 2012 / 47 months

Field of action :

Development of marine protected areas

Branch :


Location :

South Georgia, Southern Ocean

Project sponsor(s) :

South Georgia Heritage Trust


The Scotia Sea and the seas surrounding South Georgia form a unique ecosystem in the Southern Ocean. South Georgia Island, a British Overseas territory with a land area of 3,755 km2, has a varied subantarctic-type fauna, although it lies to the south of the polar front. This region provides essential shelter for many pelagic species. Protecting some of them is a crucial issue: it has become essential to identify and protect key marine habitats in the neighbouring waters.

The aim of this project is to use the birds and other marine predators as indicator species of marine biological hotspots in the South Georgia and Scotia region of the Southern Ocean. This study will enable us to identify and classify the most relevant areas in terms of biodiversity, but also to define the most appropriate management approach for the future marine protected areas.