We are Atlantic Guardians. We are world leaders in community-led marine conservation. We are the Tristan community and we hope to inspire others to follow in our footsteps.
With support from many partners, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the UK Government Blue Belt Programme, the Blue Nature Alliance and many others, we are proud to protect our part of the Atlantic Ocean through our Marine Protection Zone and wider marine management activities and we’re committed to building a strong and sustainable future for our marine environment and community.
Our work in marine management, science, outreach and engagement helps protect our pristine marine environment, and the wealth of wildlife that thrives in our waters.
Who are we?
Every member of our community plays a part in supporting the protection of the marine environment in their day-to-day life on Tristan. Learn more about some of the key players!
The Fisheries team are responsible for the management of the sustainable lobster fishery that operates in the near-shore area around Tristan. This work includes collecting data to understand how healthy the lobster population is and investigating what the impacts of climate change and invasive species might be on the lobster fishery.
James Glass is the Director of Fisheries for Tristan da Cunha.
James is an expert in rock lobster and manages the islands' sustainable fishing industry. Alongside his role as the Director of Fisheries, James is part of the Island Council and represents the island at meetings overseas.
The Conservation team are responsible for looking after Tristan’s amazing ecosystems both on land and at sea. The team work across many projects, from restoring the native island trees to protect endemic land birds, to establishing biosecurity protocols to prevent invasive species arriving on the island and much more.
Trevor Glass is the Director of Conservation.
From rockhopper penguins to elephant seals, Trevor is an expert in the island wildlife. He is responsible for managing the UNESCO World Heritage sites, monitoring wildlife, and working with partners on conservation solutions.
Marine Protection Zone team
The Marine Protection Zone team support all on-island Atlantic Guardian project activities including community participation and school visits, partner engagement and outreach.
Jéssica Escobar Porras is the Marine Management Support Officer.
She is a shark biologist from Colombia with experience in marine conservation and marine protected areas in South Africa. Jéss is an experienced diver with skills in underwater survey techniques. She coordinates and facilitates activities that support the implementation of the marine management operational plan for Tristan da Cunha.
Janine Lavarello is the Marine Protection Zone Officer.
She is familiar with the seabirds of Tristan da Cunha and is passionate about Nightingale’s flora and fauna. Janine has experience with ringing and tagging Yellow-nosed albatrosses and surveying Rockhopper Penguins. Currently she is developing her knowledge and skills around marine management and conservation. She also provides support to the Marine Protection Zone team and various departments on their marine field work while running community activities related to the Marine Protection Zone.
Our community is led by our Island Council who make many of decisions around our marine environment.
Learn more about our Island Council on the Tristan Government website.
The Tourism team help visitors enjoy the marine environment around Tristan through organising tours, birdwatching, sightseeing and through stamps and local merchandise.
History of the Marine Protection Zone
Our waters are vibrant blue, crystal clear and so pure it’s like something beyond imagination, and we wanted to keep them that way. We were already managing our lobster fishery sustainably, but we wanted to go further. Our community cannot survive without the ocean as we rely completely on its benefits.
By combining the fully protected MPZ with sustainable fishing zones, it means we can still fish for Tristan lobster (the islands main income), import goods from South Africa and UK and most importantly, catch the delicious local fish which are an essential part of our diet.Our community doesn’t want the MPZ to just be on paper, we want to demonstrate what’s happening on the ground as well, that’s why Tristan’s Marine Management Plan was put into place to continue to show the world what a small community of 250 people can do.