🇦🇶 Antarctica tourism growing steadily, posing potential ecological threat | Al Jazeera English

Published by Darron Toy on

life in the islands fringing the Antarctic Peninsula is abundant the place of seemingly endless variety the whole region is richly biodiverse a living example of how things are pretty much free from the influence of man a place to breed feed and grow its pristine oceans full of marine species including more than a dozen types of whale but getting to see the astonishing wildlife here is by no means straightforward the weather makes everything a challenge sweat on today it's gusting 40 to 45 knots we've made very good progress in the night we're now back in the antarctic sound hoping to get to Hope Bay which is where there's an Argentine research station so we want to visit that there's also a colony of about a hundred thousands of daily penguins and then by radio the Argentine base says the winds have become impossibly strong so our mission is aborted and we have to wait another 24 hours before making landfall on penguin island near the reasonably accessible tip of the Antarctic Peninsula a colony of chinstrap penguins share territory with a large group of fur seals one making the most of the comfortable feathers of the molting juveniles of course the environment where these magnificent animals is wildlife is living it's incredibly fragile and incredibly delicate and there's all sorts of threats that they're up against from climate change to krill fishing and then of course there's this tourism and the tourists come here the islands close to King George in their masses sama prepared to pay top dollar to have the Antarctic experience there are some pressures that come from tourism so in the background we have a 200-person tour ship the number of tourists coming down here and say at the beginning of the 2000s was somewhere around four or five thousand a year we're now over 30,000 people a year two days later we arrived at Hana point on the southern edge of Livingstone Island here another colony of chinstrap penguins healthy and in good shape they overlooked a group of Gentoo penguins there's the distinctive beak of the southern giant petrel and it's young there are elephant seals all different species side-by-side on a grand scale but across the continent the pressures are building it's crazy passive of change and at the moment colonies like this one seem to be doing okay but all it takes is one bad year and we saw that in the East Antarctic last year a penguin colony collapsed on your two chicks born and and so the pace of change is so quick we don't want to add additional threats things like fishing which is gradually expanding Antarctica is still in pretty good shape but it's apparent this unique landscape needs to be very carefully managed as multiple threats begin to loom on the horizon Nick Clark al Jazeera Antarctica


Maurazio · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Don't allow people/vehicles to get close to land (like 500 meters tops), they can use their binoculars. Impose a heavy tourist tax and use it to fund a new international park ranger body and conservation projects. Increase the tax if flow of tourists increase even further to keep it at a fixed low-impact number.

Hoody Toad · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Flat Earthers are partly to blame, somehow they make people curious about Antarctica and then travel there

Linzie Rogers · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Is there anything humans will not do for money?

M Sufi · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Antarctica is the edge of the flat earth. They don't want humans exploring it so they keep it closed off from normal people

fidel catsro · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Time to build roads, bridges, houses, schools and factories….come on lets go! China where are you? bring on the Lego building blocks to antarctica!

37Dionysos · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

OK everybody! Pose for your Elite Adventure selfies while we wreck this place too! Don't forget to drop some plastic!

paulus ariyanto · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

the last hope

Faceless · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Penguins should be taught about the dangers of islam.

Kommireddy Pavan · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

humans will bring diseases

M. Alfiandri Adin · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

What are those rich people thinking?

ԋαɳʂ ωolʇ · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

the ice is melting and they making it to a big titanic show

Vinay Kumar · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Now these rich pigs will spread pollution there as well.

Funki · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Where there is men, there is jeopardy.

Sherry Spectre · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

People need to leave these places be. Humans ruin things.

shamsher elahi · July 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

need to manage things carefully

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