Tristan da Cunha Conservation News
News and reports from the Tristan da Cunha Government's Conservation Department.

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RRS Discovery's Tristan cruise ends

Report and photos from Tristan Administrator Sean Burns

RRS Discovery returned to Tristan da Cunha on Saturday 30th March 2019 for a busy day briefing the island community on its work.

RRS Discovery at Tristan on 30th March 2019 with Hottentot Point left and Inaccessible Island behind.

On the bridge of RRS Discovery

RRS Discovery's Master, Captain Stewart Mackay
swapping crests with Sean Burns
Sean Burns and Stewart Mackay flanked by Professor Martin Collins (right) and Dr Simon Morley (left).

Marina Burns shown around one of RRS Discovery's scientific labs. by Martin Collins and Simon Morley.

Martin Collins and Simon Morley continue to show Marina equipment on the main deck of RRS Discovery.

Photos above and below show Simon Morley and Martin Collins making a presentation about
the work of the RRS Discovery Expedition to the Tristan community in the Post Office and Tourism Centre
during the afternoon of Saturday 30th March.


RRS Discovery preparing to leave Tristan for St Helena

Natural History Museum event links with RRS Discovery

Report and photos from Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Carnegy

Photo of RRS Discovery heading back to Tristan on 29th March from the team on board

On Friday 29th March 2019 the research cruise to 'Tristan by Discovery' (RRS Discovery was due back at Tristan da Cunha the following day) was featured in a live audience event at the Natural History Museum in London.

The Museum's Alastair Hendry interviewed Serena Wright of the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, and introduced an ambitious live video link-up with researchers on board the ship in Tristan waters.

This picture, taken during the NHM event, captures the moment when pelagic cameras emerged from the depths
of the South Atlantic, with Paul Whomersley of Cefas explaining from on board the vessel.

Before the event, the Museum marine researcher Dr Adrian Glover provided a laboratory tour
for Tristan UK Representative Chris Carnegy, Foreign Office ‘Blue Belt' lead Kylie Bamford,
and CEFAS Chief Executive Tom Karsten.

RRS Discovery arrives at Tristan

Report and photos from Tristan Administrator Sean Burns
with additional photos from the team aboard RRS Discovery

Summary of the RRS Discovery Expedition's Aims

The vessel will be here for ten days or so carrying out research in Tristan's waters, primarily on the seamounts. The expedition, which is a collaboration between the Blue Belt Programme and the British Antarctic Survey will focus on understanding the biodiversity and habitats associated with the seamounts in Tristan da Cunha, about which very little information is known.

Photo from RRS Discovery approaching Tristan on 21st March

RRS Discovery arrived off Tristan on Thursday 21st March 2019, but sea conditions wouldn't permit a safe landing, so the ship continued its marine-based studies, travelling to Nightingale Island waters during the day.

Photo from RRS Discovery approaching closer to Tristan on 21st March

Photo from RRS Discovery early morning on 22nd March -
Is it a day? Yes it is!

The UK research vessel RRS Discovery arrived properly (i.e. able to land) on Friday 22nd March 2019.

On arrival there was a swap of personnel for the multi-disciplinary team, completed by 10.00 GMT.

Joining the RRS Discovery voyage to the seamounts is a Tristan team comprising Warren Glass, Justin Green and Julian Repetto, who will play an active part in the research and analysis.

RRS Discovery dropped off Oliver Yates from Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science), Katie McPherson from the MMO (Marine Management Organisation), Stephanie Martin, (Tristan Government's Environmental and Conservation Policy Officer) and seal scientist Marthan Bester. Katie and Oliver will be focusing on Tristan's work on our 2020 marine protection strategy; why we need one, what it might look like, what impact it might have on the community and economy and also how it fits in to the global strategy to protect the world's oceans. This is a real opportunity for Tristan to become a world leader in marine protection.

RRS Discovery arrives at Tristan about 10.15 GMT RIB enters Calshot Harbour
RRS Discovery team members pleased to have arrived safely by 10.30 GMT Welcome ashore to the RRS Discovery team members

We have said all along this must be driven by the needs and wishes of the Tristan community, and this is a great opportunity for everyone to engage with the team, so they can go away with a clear idea of what the community wants, and help formulate the strategy and actions needed to deliver this. There will be a series of talks and opportunities for everyone, including the school and prospective councillors, to engage. Please do so. Further details will follow once we know they are ashore.

Stephanie will be working with Head of Tristan Conservation Trevor Glass and the team on conservation and environmental issues as well as working with Oliver and Katie.

One of those coming ashore is an old friend of Tristan's, Marthan Bester. Marthan set off straight away with islanders George Swain and Matthew Green for The Caves to do more reserarch on Tristan's main Sub-Antarctic Fur Seal colony there.

As the research vessel headed off, Sean added this note:

Welcome to you all! Pleased all now ashore / aboard and the vessel is on its way to the seamounts. See you back here in 10 days!

RRS Discovery wildlife observations

On the outward journey from the Falkland Islands to Tristan
Full story >>

RRS Discovery departs Falklands for Tristan

Latest episode of Blue Belt research gets underway
Full story >>

Origin of the world's smallest flightless bird solved

Scientists discover link between the Inaccessible Island Rail and South American species.
Full story >>

Starchy Watch

Sightings of the Tristan Thrush
Full story >>

King Bird Watch

Antarctic Terns complete their Patches breeding
Full story >>

Caves Beach Clean Up

In January 2019, the Conservation Department took a party of secondary students to gather plastic that had washed up on the beach at Cave Point on Tristan's south coast.
Full story >>