Published on Monday, February 12, 2018

China to tourists: Don't play with the penguins in Antarctica

China plans to roll out special regulations for its citizens travelling to Antarctica.

The State Oceanic Administration is seeking comments on a draft of the Environmental Protection Regulation on Activities on Antarctica, which seeks to govern how Chinese travellers should act while in the icy continent.

It would also detail how tour companies should operate and ensure only low impact activities take place.

Other stipulations would include not touching or feeding penguins, the banning of toxic substances and taking all waste materials with them when leaving.

According to the US based International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, 5,289 Chinese travellers visited Antarctica last year, which was up by about a quarter on 2016.

It is second only to the US for the number of tourist visits.

Deputy head Lin Shanqing of the State Oceanic Administration said it will impose strict penalties for environmental protection violations on Antarctica.

The draft said any companies falling foul of the rules will be blacklisted for three years.

Additionally, tour organisers must log a report about their activities on Antarctica within 30 days of the end of the tour.


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