A message from James Glass, Chief Islander on the launch of the Atlantic Guardians new website www.atlanticguardians.org:
"I am absolutely delighted to welcome the Atlantic Guardians website on Anniversary Day, the annual commemoration of the arrival at Tristan da Cunha in 1816 of William Glass, considered the founder of our community of which I am 5th Generation.
On 5th September 1976 I first went to sea, tagging lobster on the Tristanian II. I was uncomfortable with the fishing practices being used and vowed to myself that if I was ever in a position to make changes I would. In November 2020 no one was prouder than myself to see the implementation of our MPZ, a moment that reflected the commitment of the whole community. Long before MPAs were established elsewhere, Tristanians had a no-take zone around all their islands, with no commercial fishing between 7-50 miles. That inshore protection goes back over 70 years to the start of our commercial lobster fishery, which has been MSC certified since 2011. Now, our new MPZ has enabled the UK to reach a key milestone towards its goal of protection for more than 30% of the World’s ocean by 2030.
Our life on Tristan da Cunha has always been founded on our relationship with the sea, and that continues today.
We are proud that we are helping preserve the health of the oceans, and their key role in regulating our climate, with sustainability of our environment and sustainability of our community being twin goals that work in harmony.
Tristan is not a prosperous island and recent challenges around the world such as increasing costs of goods and services mean being self-sufficient is paramount to our livelihood.
We will continue to work closely with our partners, including environmental NGOs, and thank all donors for their contribution to making this MPZ a reality. I pay tribute to the Blue Belt Programme teams, and hope that our long-term relationship with them will help ensure the unique biodiversity of this beautiful archipelago remains as precious as it is today."