South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Facts Info StuffSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Info

Facts About South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands | South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Facts Info Stuff

Here are some interesting facts about South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - Category: Introduction - Background: The islands, which have large bird and seal populations, lie approximately 1,000 km east of the Falkland Islands and have been under British administration since 1908 - except for a brief period in 1982 when Argentina occupied them. Grytviken, on South Georgia, was a 19th and early 20th century whaling station. Famed explorer Ernest SHACKLETON stopped there in 1914 en route to his ill-fated attempt to cross Antarctica on foot. He returned some 20 months later with a few companions in a small boat and arranged a successful rescue for the rest of his crew, stranded off the Antarctic Peninsula. He died in 1922 on a subsequent expedition and is buried in Grytviken. Today, the station houses scientists from the British Antarctic Survey. Recognizing the importance of preserving the marine stocks in adjacent waters, the UK, in 1993, extended the exclusive fishing zone from 12 nm to 200 nm around each island.

Category: Government - Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK, also claimed by Argentina)

Category: People - Population: no indigenous inhabitants; note: the small military garrison on South Georgia withdrew in March 2001 replaced by a permanent group of scientists of the British Antarctic Survey, which also has a biological station on Bird Island; the South Sandwich Islands are uninhabited

Category: Economy - Economy - overview: Some fishing takes place in adjacent waters. There is a potential source of income from harvesting finfish and krill. The islands receive income from postage stamps produced in the UK, sale of fishing licenses, and harbor and landing fees from tourist vessels. Tourism from specialized cruise ships is increasing rapidly.

Category: Geography - Area (sq km): total: 3,903 sq km; land: 3,903 sq km; water: 0 sq km; note: includes Shag Rocks, Black Rock, Clerke Rocks, South Georgia Island, Bird Island, and the South Sandwich Islands, which consist of 11 islands

Category: Transportation - Ports and terminals: Grytviken

Category: Communications - Internet country code: .gs

Category: Military - Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK

Category: Transnational Issues - Disputes - international: Argentina, which claims the islands in its constitution and briefly occupied them by force in 1982, agreed in 1995 to no longer seek settlement by force

Other random facts about South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 

  1. Communications - Internet hosts: 196 (2008)

  2. Geography - Elevation extremes (m): lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Paget (South Georgia) 2,934 m

  3. Geography - Natural hazards: the South Sandwich Islands have prevailing weather conditions that generally make them difficult to approach by ship; they are also subject to active volcanism

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Source: CIA - The World Factbook