Antarctica: call for stricter tourism regulations

The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) has called for stronger controls after the grounding of an expedition cruise ship in Antarctica this week, the fourth such accident in that region over the last three years. ASOC said said Tuesday’s grounding of Quark Expeditions’ Ocean Nova was cause for concern. Marguerite Bay, where the accident occurred, has a number of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas that contain a number of bird and seal colonies, including over 30,000 Adelie penguins. ASOC said that tourism to Antarctica over the past decade “has been characterized by steep annual increases, diversification, and geographic expansion,” with the number of visitors increasing to 46,000 in 2007-08 and 39,000 in 2008-09, a four-fold increase since 1990.Source: Travel Weekly; find article here>> and the full text of ASOC’s statement here>>.

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