Until 1985, both South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands were dependencies of the Falkland Islands, but from that date were constituted as a separate colony of the UK.
Concern over unregulated fishing led in 1993 to the establishment of a maritime zone of 370km around the islands and to the introduction in August 1993 of a regime for the conservation and management of the fisheries in the zone.
The Governor of the Falkland Islands is concurrently Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and is responsible for the conduct of government business, including legislation. The commissioner is assisted by the first secretary at Government House in Stanley, who is concurrently assistant commissioner and director of fisheries, and by an operations manager. The attorney-general and financial secretary from the Falkland Islands fulfil parallel roles in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
There is no permanent human population on South Georgia. However, there is a team of scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) based at the research station at the administrative centre of King Edward Point, replacing the small military detachment which had been there since British forces recaptured the island in 1982. This research station (built in 2001) provides valuable scientific advice to the South Georgia Government on the sustainable management of the commercial fishery around South Georgia which represents the main source of income for the government. BAS also maintains an all-year research station on Bird Island off the north-west point of South Georgia. Other officials based at King Edward Point include a marine officer/harbour master and the curators of the South Georgia Museum.
South Georgia has a rich heritage stemming from its past prominence as a staging post for Antarctic discovery and a centre for sealing and whaling. Consequently it is attracting an increasing number of tourists and other visitors interested in research. The government welcomes such visits to the territory but all visitors, irrespective of their nationality and mode of transport, must apply in advance to the commissioner for permission to do so.
Some 90% of government revenue is derived from the sale of fishing licences, with sales of stamps and commemorative coins, customs and harbour dues, and landing and transhipment fees contributing the rest. Main heads of expenditure are fisheries administration and research, fisheries protection, production of stamps and coins, and administration of the South Georgia Museum and other historical buildings on the island.
Capital:††††††††††††††††††††† Grytviken (
Government:††††††††††††† British Overseas Territory
Area:†††††††††††††††††††††††† 3.903 km≤
Population:†††††††††††††††† ca. 20 (2008)
Currency:†††††††††††††††††† British Pound (100 pence)
Internet TLD:†††††††††††† .gs
Dialling code:†††††††††††† -
For more stamps see:
The website of the Philatelic Service (
Country description from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Country description from the CIA.
Official website of the government of
designer:††††††††††† Andrew Robinson
printer:†††††††††††††† BDT International,
1†††† 50 P†††††††††††† zoological building at Moltke Base and study into metabolism of King Penguins, IPY emblem,
††††††††††††††††††††††††† "IPY, 1882-1883 / ZOOLOGY, MOLTKE BASE"
††††††††††††††††††††††††† (cat. Michel 446/SG /Yvert )
2†††† 60 P†††††††††††† Meteorological
††††††††††††††††††††††††† (cat. Michel 447/SG /Yvert )
3†††† 85 P†††††††††††† krill, IPY emblem, "ECOSYSTEMS IN A CHANGING / ENVIRONMENT - ZOOPLANKTON"
††††††††††††††††††††††††† (cat. Michel 448/SG /Yvert )
4†††† £ 1.05††††††††† leopard seals, IPY emblem, "ECOSYSTEMS IN A CHANGING / ENVIRONMENT - PREDATORS"
††††††††††††††††††††††††† (cat. Michel 449/SG /Yvert )