Jenny Island, Antarctica, Jan. 7, 2007 - Members of the National Geographic Endeavor prepare Zodiacs for departure for the nearby island. The ship uses the Zodiacs to ferry passengers, crew and naturalists from the ship around the mainland to minimize impact and because there are few possible landings for ships. The continent of Antarctica is has no indigenous people, no permanent inhabitants and is not the sovereign territory of any nation. It does however have politics. It is governed by an international agreement known as the Antarctic Treaty, which has been signed by 45 countries. The treaty stipulates that the continent can only be used for scientific research, which must be shared. Until, the mid 1980's the only visitors were scientists. By the mid 90's the number of tourists surpassed the number of scientists. In the 2005-06 season that number jumped to nearly 30,000. Currently there are few restrictions of the number of visitors, with most tour companies also supporting research. Lindblad/National Geographic Tour is one of those companies. The tourism finances the research arm of the company and allows for a meaningful opportunity to educate travelers about the many aspects of this valuable ecosystem. .