PRISTINE SEAS – National Geographic
EXPEDITION to Tristan da Cunha
The goals of the Pristine Seas project are to find, survey, and help protect the last wild places in the ocean. To this end, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project, in collaboration with the Royal Society for the Protections of Birds (RSPB) and the Tristan da Cunha Government will conduct a 21-day expedition to Tristan da Cunha, Nightingale, Inaccessible and Gough islands in January-February 2017. Primary goals of the expedition are to conduct comprehensive quantitative surveys of the health of its largely unknown marine environment, and produce a documentary film to highlight this unique ecosystem and its people. Prof. Marthán Bester and PhD student Mia Wege (MIMMP sealers) from the Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology & Entomology, Pretoria University will join the expedition and continue ongoing seal research (see below Philately commemoration of this seal effort).
The expedition vessel SVS Grenville (http://specialisedvesselservices.com/vessels/svs-grenville/) left Cape Town, South Africa on January 8, 2017 and has just arrived at Tristan. Scientific exploration and filming of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago for 21 days will ensue, the ship returning to Cape Town on the 12th of February.
Progress during the expedition can be followed on:
TRISTAN DA CUNHA Biodiversity - Stamp Issue Part 1
The first day cover for this stamp issue, which includes a stamp depicting a Subantarctic fur seal, also carries the logo of UP in recognition of the project entitled 'Subantarctic Fur Seals at the Tristan da Cunha Islands' that the Mammal Research Institute have been carrying out (from 2009) under the direction of Prof. Marthán Bester, involving ‘Sealers’ from the Marion Island Marine Mammal Programme (MIMMP) of Prof. Nico de Bruyn. The project was developed by Prof. Bester at the behest of the Tristan da Cunha Conservation Department, and is executed under permit from the Tristan da Cunha Government. The Biodiversity Stamp Issue can be viewed at: http://www.tristandc.com/po/stamps201611.php