Tighter restrictions on cruise ships visiting Antarctica have been agreed, although no means of enforcing them are yet in place.
Vessels carrying more than 500 passengers will be prohibited from landing passengers on the Polar ice. No more than 100 passengers will be allowed ashore at any one time, in an attempt to prevent damage to the ecosystem.
Agreement was reached at the 32nd meeting of the Antarctic treaty organization in Baltimore, USA following concern at the growing number of visitors – up from 6,700 to 45,000 in the past 16 years.
There have also been worries about the number of incidents involving visiting expedition cruise ships, including the sinking of the Explorer in 2007.