- King Edward Point
King Edward Point (Also known as KEP) is a
promontoryand settlement with port facilities ( wharf) on the northeastern coast of the island of South Georgia. It is located at (coord|54|17|S|36|30|W|) in Cumberland East Bay. It is sometimes confusedly referred to as Grytviken, which is the area where the whaling station stands, as the head of the cove.
The point was discovered by the
Swedish Antarctic Expeditionof 1901-04 under Otto Nordenskiöld. It was named around 1906 for King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.
Since 1909 King Edward Point has been the residence of a British Magistrate administering the island.
In 1925, the government of the
United Kingdomestablished a marine laboratory there as part of the Discovery Investigations. On January 1, 1950the station ownership was assumed by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey. From January 1 1952to November 13 1969the station was manned.
British Antarctic Surveyprovided the British presence at the station until 1982.
At the beginning of the
Falklands Waron April 3, 1982, Argentine forces occupied South Georgia and closed the station. They were soon expelled, during Operation Paraquetand British military forces occupied the point.
A series of civilian Marine Officers was appointed to carry out Customs and Fisheries duties for the South Georgia Government from 1991, and were billeted with the small garrison.
March 22 2001, the British Antarctic Surveyreopened the station on behalf of the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI). Most of the old, dilapidated (and arguably historic) buildings were destroyed to make way for new ones, with the exception of Discovery House (1925) and the Gaol (1912).
Currently nine BAS personnel overwinter at the station, rising to around 18 in summer. Two Government Officers plus partners are stationed on KEP, overlapping by about three months during the busy winter fishing season. Summer staff from the Museum at
Grytvikenare also accommodated at KEP.
The continued occupation of the station serves a political purpose as well, in that it helps to maintain British sovereignty against
Argentina's claim for ownership of the territory. The chief activities of the station are applied fisheries research on behalf of the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, to assist its policies for sustainable management of the commercial fishery, and to provide logistic support for the Government Officer(s).
* [http://www.mclaren.gs/k_e_p_.htm King Edward point]
* [http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/living_and_working/research_stations/king_edward_point/ British Antarctic Survey Research Station King Edward Point, South Georgia]
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