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 action we’re taking to protect it. 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.

It wasn’t easy creating this MPZ as Tristan had to sacrifice things like commercial fishing revenue for the island and community. But since it meant protecting our little island and ocean, Tristanians will happily rise to any challenge.

Timeline

Orange tube anemones © Sue Scott
Orange tube anemones © Sue Scott

2010 workshop on marine preservation

2011 tragic oil spill

Northern rockhopper penguin © Andy Schofield
Northern rockhopper penguin © Andy Schofield
Divers © Rob Mrowicki
Divers © Rob Mrowicki

2012 – 2015 researching marine life

2017 National Geographic Pristine Seas expedition

Blue shark pup © National Geographic Pristine Seas
Blue shark pup © National Geographic Pristine Seas
Subantarctic fur seal amongst barnacles © Sue Scott
Subantarctic Fur Seal © Sue Scott

2018-2019 Seamount surveys

2020 designation of the Marine Protection Zone

Tristan da Cunha © Andy Schofield
Tristan da Cunha © Andy Schofield

Marine Protection Zone

The journey to our Marine Protection Zone began in 2010 when the Tristan da Cunha community started discussing with how to protect our pristine ocean. We were already managing our lobster fishery sustainably, but we wanted to go further.