Conservation, Government, Press Release
The AIG Conservation and Fisheries Directorate are pleased to announce the beginning of a new Darwin Plus-funded project “Protecting Seabirds Across Borders”.
Ascension’s Marine Protected Area covers 445,000km2, but many seabirds will range much further. Uncovering their distribution throughout the whole year and their potential interactions with high-sea fisheries will provide a better understanding of how these species use the wider Atlantic. This project will build on existing data and conduct additional seabird tracking work to fill key data gaps. Working with partners at Birdlife International, Global Fishing Watch, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the results will be used to advocate for greater protection across the Atlantic and help to refocus Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing surveillance efforts.
Initial tracking using satellite tags supported by the UK Government’s Blue Belt Programme has shown juvenile frigatebirds taking short flights around the island as they develop their flying capabilities following fledging. Over the coming weeks and months, these individuals will venture more widely into the Atlantic and we will continue to provide regular updates on their adventures.