The Blue Belt Programme aims to create marine conservations zones around the UK's Overeas Territories, including the Tristan da Cunha group of islands.

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News of Tristan's planning and implementation of the Blue Belt Programme. This is a UK strategy to protect the marine environment of its Overseas Territories, including the Tristan da Cunha group of islands, by establishing marine conservation zones. The UK Government has provided funding up to 2020 to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) to provide the expertise and advice the OTs might need to formulate and deliver the strategy.

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.

Tristan's vast 'Blue Belt' celebrated at London events

Gough Island blue-shark 'nursery' highlighted
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BEM presented to Andy Schofield

Ceremony at the Hull Guildhall in East Yorkshire
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DEFRA meeting highlights Tristan's conservation matters

Minister updated on island's wide conservation agenda
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Tristan's Atlantic Guardians Project Report

Marine Protection Zone launches new website
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Tristan represented at UN Ocean Conference

Stephanie Martin joins UK delegation in Portugal
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James Glass gives key presentation at oceans event in London

Tristan islanders and officials participated in a 'Blue Belt' event in London to celebrate World Ocean Day 2022.
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Stamp issue: The Blue Belt Programme

Stamps commemorating the establishment of Tristan's Marine Protected Zone, the largest in the Atlantic, as part of the UK's Blue Belt Programme.
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Community Braai to Celebrate the Tristan MPZ

The Chief Islander with the help of the RSPB held a celebratory braai for the community to mark the establishment of Tristan's Marine Protected Zone (MPZ).
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Tristan's Marine Protection Zone Announced

Creation of the Atlantic Ocean's largest conservation area
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Chief Islander reports on Tristan's Marine Protection Zone

James Glass heralds 4 million square kilometre Blue Belt
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World Ocean Day Tristan Blue Belt Update

The Blue Belt Programme's annual report shows Tristan at forefront of marine conservation.
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Tristan central to Parliament OT Environment Meeting

Blue Belt and Gough Restoration plans discussed
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Illegal Fishing focus at London Blue Belt Workshop

Tristan represented as technology surveillance is explained
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Page Updated: ATBA: Areas To Be Avoided in Tristan Waters

Instructions to all shipping to avoid sailing near land
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Tristan represented at Cornwall Blue Belt Symposium

Video showcases Tristan's Wildlife
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Tristan represented at inaugural DEFRA-OT meeting

Overseas Territories briefed on environmental and Brexit matters
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Wave Dancer hand-over ceremony

Event at Lymington in Hampshire
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RRS Discovery's Tristan cruise ends

Review of the March 2019 expedition's work towards Blue Belt plans
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RRS Discovery departs for St Helena

Blue Belt Expedition completes its Tristan Exclusive Economic Zone work
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Natural History Museum event links with RRS Discovery

March 2019 event showcases on-going Blue Belt research in a live video link.
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RRS Discovery arrives at Tristan

Multi-discipline team change-over, March 2019.
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RRS Discovery wildlife observations

On the outward journey from the Falkland Islands to Tristan
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RRS Discovery departs Falklands for Tristan

Latest episode of Blue Belt research gets underway
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Blue Belt talks at London Zoo

Event organised by the Marine Management Organisation
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Chief Islander in UK Blue Belt Meetings

Ian Lavarello takes part in second week of consultations
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JMC Week Highlights

Tristan at centre stage of Overseas Territories' big week
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Tristan Fisheries Department's excellent work celebrated

RSPB report to coincide with World Wildlife Conservation Day
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Planning a Tristan da Cunha Marine Protection Strategy

Report of July 2018 London Meeting
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Trip to Inaccessible and Nightingale Islands using new RIB

Tristan Conservation Department trip to support field work teams.
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Wave Dancer in UK for refurbishment

Tristan's Fisheries Patrol boat arrives in UK for Blue Belt funded repairs
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Blue Belt Annual Update Published

2017/18 Programme Booklet available to download
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Tristan Blue Belt Summary

Oliver Yates from Cefas summarises progress up to June 2018
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Tristan represented at No 10 Environment Meeting

UKOTA meets Sir John Randall, the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser for the Environment on 24th May 2018
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Blue Belt survey aboard RRS James Clark Ross

March 2018 Blue Belt survey provides vital data for Tristan's marine protection zone plans
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DEFRA Minister briefed on Tristan's Blue Belt Programme

Reception held aboard HMS Belfast on 18th April
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London Blue Belt event aboard the ship CEFAS Endeavour

Tristan’s Blue Belt work showcased to Commonwealth leaders and promoted to UK schools
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Report from Oliver Yates

Senior Cefas Marine Science Advisor visits Tristan da Cunha Islands January-February 2018
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Bluenose survey around Gough Island and McNish seamount

On-going Blue Belt research on MFV Edinburgh
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RRS James Clark Ross Expedition Newsletter

RRS James Clark Ross visited Tristan da Cunha waters 22-31 March 2018
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RRS James Clark Ross visits Tristan

Presentation of Blue Belt research given to island community
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Tristan Blue Belt plans presented to MPs

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove leads delegation of MPs committed to marine protection
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RRS James Clark Ross helps Tristan's Blue Belt plans

UK marine research ship to carry out Tristan EEZ seamount surveys in March 2018
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Report on Tristan da Cunha Marine Protection Planning Workshop

Blue Belt July 2017 London Workshop Report available to download
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Cefas officer assists Tristan with Blue Belt Work

Update on Oliver Yates' work on Tristan's Blue Belt plans.
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Blue Belt Update

Cefas and MMO team visit Tristan
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Blue Belt Representatives to visit Tristan in January 2018

RMS St Helena's final Tristan voyage brings MMO and Cefas scientists to Tristan
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Creating a Blue Belt around the Tristan da Cunha Islands

Update on progress towards a bespoke marine protection zone by 2020
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Key Stakeholders meet to discuss Tristan's Blue Belt Commitment

Workshop held at the London FCO for Tristan to plan its strategy to protect its marine environment by 2020.
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