Avian Influenza Response 2023-24
Essential Reading for Those Operating South This Season
Avian Influenza – Help Stop The Spread
Due to the increase of Avian Influenza elsewhere in the world, the Antarctic community is heightening its vigilance with regards to operations South this season. Here’s what you need to know:
Since the beginning of 2022, the increasing intensity of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 outbreaks has resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of seabirds in the Northern Hemisphere, around the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and southern Africa. HPAI has also caused elevated grey and harbour seal mortalities in the United States.
Polar stakeholders, from Antarctic Treaty parties to scientists, researchers and IAATO already have robust procedures in place to protect Antarctica from pathogens and non-native species, but due to the increase of Avian Influenza elsewhere in the world, we are all exercising enhanced caution this season.
In consultation with the SCAR Antarctic Wildlife Health Working Group (AWHWG), additional protocols were introduced to IAATO’s standard biosecurity procedures for 2022-23. An update for 2023-24 will be available on this page and in the FOM shortly. These protocols are mandatory for all IAATO Operators and staff operating in Antarctica. They are also likely to evolve.
We’ll be updating this page as as more information and guidance regarding (HPAI) H5N1 becomes available, so please check back regularly.
Help Your Guests to Understand & Embrace New Biosecurity Procedures During the 2023-24 Season
Manage the expectations of your guests by providing some basic information and context about the new protocols this season. The IAATO 2023-24 Avian Influenza Protocols can be downloaded and shared with guests prior to their expedition, or printed and displayed in common areas during your voyage. IAATO has also prepared some Avian Influenza FAQs to help you answer any questions you may receive.
A gallery of Avian Influenza images can be found below. The images can be used (with appropriate credit) in the mandatory briefings onboard to help guests better understand and embrace the new procedures. Find them available to download at the bottom of the page. A selection of the images have been sent directly to the IAATO Fleet as well.
Poster & Icons | Avian Influenza - How You Can Protect Antarctica
Poster | Avian Influenza – How You Can Help Protect Antarctica
Icon | Do Keep Your Distance
Icon | Don't Kneel
Icon | Don't Sit
Icon | Don't Lie Down
Icon | Don't Place Anything on The Ground
A Message to Guests from IAATO
IAATO has created a short video message for guests, sharing an overview of the updated Avian Influenza protocols and why they are necessary this season. You can preview the video here and download it via the Avian Influenza Resources Library button at the bottom of this page to share with your guests.
A full transcript in English is also available via the IAATO Avian Influenza Resources Library to assist you with preparing translations.
The video is approximately 120mb. A compressed file of 32.5mb is also available in the IAATO Avian Influenza Resources Library.
Images for Use in Your Mandatory Briefings
Appropriate credit must be given with each image, as detailed below. Images must only be used in conjunction with your visitor briefings.
Northern Gannets UK © Ashley Cooper (rspb-images.com)
Great Skua UK © Ashley Cooper (rspb-images.com)
Roseate Terns 0.1 UK © Ibrahim Alfarwi (rspb-images.com)
Roseate Terns 0.2 UK © Ibrahim Alfarwi (rspb-images.com)
Avian Influenza Fatalities UK © Ibrahim Alfarwi (rspb-images.com)
IAATO Set to Begin 2023-24 Antarctic Season with New and Enhanced Responsible Tourism Measures