Managing the interests of South Georgia
The Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) was formed in 1985 as a separate British Territory under the direction of a Commissioner. Prior to this happening, South Georgia had been part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. The Commissioner has vested in him the legal, financial and administrative authority and responsibility for the governance of the island. The current Commissioner, who is also Governor of the Falkland Islands, resides in Stanley, Falkland Islands. A Government Officer represents him on South Georgia.
The second income source is from visitors to South Georgia, through the collection of landing fees. To provide for the tourism industry on South Georgia, it was necessary to make the whaling station at Grytviken safe for visitors and residents. This required the removal of hazardous materials and unsafe structures and cost GSGSSI around £7 millon, impacting significantly on their reserves of capital.
SGHT works in close partnership with GSGSSI to address the challenges that confront South Georgia. GSGSSI is an integral partner helping to advise and support the SGHT Habitat Restoration Project.
Government income to manage South Georgia comes from two sources. The fishing industry provides the largest contribution by far. Much of this income is reinvested in the administration of the fishery, including the provision of fishery protection patrols to ensure illegal fishing does not take place. Scientific research is supported to ensure the ongoing, sustainable management of the fishery.