Another accolade for the island's outstanding conservation work

Tristan da Cunha achieves Blue Park Award

Tristan da Cunha earns prestigious Blue Park Award for Outstanding Conservation Value

at a Marine Conservation Institute Our Ocean Conference held in Athens, Greece on 17th April 2024

Dr. Lance Morgan, President of Marine Conservation Institute, announced the 2024 Blue Park Awards at an event co-hosted by Marine Conservation Institute and the Bloomberg Ocean Fund. The event highlighted contributions toward the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework's target to protect 30% of marine and coastal areas by 2030, showcasing the Blue Park Award winners as outstanding examples of effective biodiversity conservation in Marine Protection Areas.

With this award, Tristan da Cunha receives US $8,000 and joins a growing network of 30 awarded Blue Parks around the global ocean that have met the highest science-based standards for conservation effectiveness.

"Our long-term goal has always been to help ensure that the unique biodiversity of our archipelago is protected," said James Glass, Chief Islander and Tristan da Cunha's Director of Fisheries, "not only for the future of our younger generation, but for the future population of the planet."

"On behalf of all the community, we are delighted to receive this Blue Park Award in recognition of Tristan da Cunha's Marine Protection Zone," said Janine Lavarello, Marine Protection Zone Officer of Tristan da Cunha. "It is essential that marine protected areas are designated to help preserve our wonderful wildlife and ecosystems, and we are thrilled that this award recognizes our hard work over the last few years. We are committed to maintaining these high standards to ensure Tristan's waters are protected now, and for future generations."

The Blue Park logo
that Tristan da Cunha may now use

Tristan da Cunha, an archipelago in the southern Atlantic Ocean, protects its entire Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) – spanning over 750,000 square kilometres. Encompassing such a vast marine area, the MPA protects highly productive deep ocean areas, kelp forests, and several seamounts that support abundant cold-water corals. It includes migratory pathways for many fish, cetaceans, and seabirds, including endangered northern rockhopper penguins. Tristan da Cunha's extensive no-take zone and minimal human disturbance provide an ideal setting for its temperate marine ecosystems to thrive.

Broadnose sevengill shark - Photo Credit - Rob Mrowicki

"Tristan da Cunha is a small, remote island in the middle of the South Atlantic meaning we're not very well known to the rest of the world, with many people having never heard of us," expressed Janine. "This Blue Park Award will raise the global profile of our Marine Protection Zone and island, giving us a platform to share our approaches to safeguarding our amazing wildlife and managing our Marine Stewardship Council-certified fishery."

Northern rockhopper penguins - Photo Credit - David Kinchin-Smith

Tristan da Cunha's conservation efforts are championed by its local community of approximately 245 year-round residents. The MPZ (Tristan uses the term Marine Protection Zone) is managed by the Tristan da Cunha Government, and many partner organizations have contributed to its success, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Blue Nature Alliance, Pew Charitable Trusts, UK Government Blue Belt Programme, British Antarctic Survey, National Geographic – Pristine Seas, Natural History Museum, University of Plymouth, Darwin Initiative, Wyss Foundation, Becht Family Charitable Trust, Don Quixote II Foundation, and Blue Marine Foundation, among others.

Subantarctic fur seal - Photo Credit - National Geographic Society (Pristine Seas)

The Blue Park Awards are supported by Blue, the Blue Endowment Fund. The Blue Park Award recognizes outstanding efforts by national governments, nonprofit organizations, MPA managers, and local communities to effectively protect marine ecosystems now and for the future. The award has been given annually since its launch in 2017. The 2024 Blue Parks join the Blue Parks Network, made up of some of the world's most outstanding marine protected areas and ocean champions.

"We are thrilled to recognize the hard work of the Tristanians and their partners who are protecting the vibrant ocean around Tristan da Cunha," said Director of the Blue Parks Program, Dr. Sarah Hameed. "The Blue Parks offer examples of conservation success that inspire us all to accelerate efforts to safeguard life in the sea."

More information about the award is available on the Marine Conservation Institute website.