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Results for South Africa
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  • Blog Post: I can move mountains and leap over oceans

    Today I am not going to brag about all the amazing and rare seabirds that I see (I see Wandering Albatross when I am at sea!) and all the whales, dolphins and sharks that I encountered on my journeys at sea. Today I want to share with you how conducting at-sea trials changed my perspective on life. I...
  • Blog Post: BirdLife South Africa’s Dr Ross Wanless wins Environmentalist of the Year award

    The prestigious SAB Environmentalist of the Year Award was made to Dr Ross Wanless, from BirdLife South Africa’s Seabird Conservation Programme, at a ceremony in Johannesburg yesterday. Dr Wanless has overseen a number of impressive conservation achievements over the past six years at BirdLife...
  • Blog Post: Testing seabird bycatch mitigation: getting the facts right

    Of the 300,000 seabirds killed in longline and trawl fisheries each year, around 100,000 are albatross. This level of mortality is clearly not sustainable for these inspirational, but sadly imperilled seabirds, with 15 of the 22 species of albatross threatened with extinction. Birds are killed when...
  • Blog Post: Back on board with the demersal longline fleet in South Africa

    I recently headed down to Hout Bay, South Africa to join a demersal (bottom) longline fishing vessel in a fishery we have recently begun working with again to improve and update mitigation measures. Upon arrival to the harbour I found that the boat that I was supposed to join had already left port...
  • Blog Post: Welcome to Honolulu!

    Crystal clear waters, crisp white sand, and cool shady palm trees are not the first thing that springs to mind when on a deep-sea fishing trawler. But we were in Honolulu, the proverbial paradise we see on TV, “where everything is hunky dory”. That is how my skipper, Manfred, described the...
  • Blog Post: Maintaining perfect mitigation in South Africa

    On my most recent trip aboard a deep-sea trawler, the weather wasn’t as compassionate as the last one! One night my sleeping bag actually flew off me as we rocked and rolled on the sea like a cork in a bucket! You come up with creative and very unusual sleeping positions to steady yourself as the...
  • Blog Post: Working as an intern with BirdLife South Africa

    I have been completing an internship with BirdLife South Africa, as part of the Groen Sebenza internship programme . It has given me an opportunity to learn more about my career options in conservation. I have learnt of the collaboration between different conservation organisations and met interesting...
  • Blog Post: Public speaking: a big part of working with the ATF

    The first thing to realize if you plan on enjoying life in the ATF, is that you will have to speak in public and it will happen a lot! Despite being shy sometimes, these opportunities are going to keep coming up and you have to learn to enjoy them. You have to understand that it’s only going...
  • Blog Post: A life of adventure

    The life of an ATF instructor is filled with adventure. Our job is to collect seabird abundance and interaction data at sea. It involves working with fishermen to find and implement solutions to seabird bycatch. It comes with a lot of amazing opportunities; we wake up at sea to the wonderful sound of...
  • Blog Post: Greening the Future award for ATF South Africa

    The South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian holds a prestigious, annual ‘Greening the Future’ awards ceremony in Johannesburg. This year the South African Albatross Task Force team was awarded top honours for our work introducing an innovative solution that has reduced albatross...
  • Blog Post: Future for nature award: helping save the albatross

    In April 2014, three young conservationists all making a difference in their own way, headed to the Netherlands to receive the Future for Nature Award 2014. I was one of the three people awarded for my work with the Albatross Task Force, preventing unnecessary deaths of seabirds during fishing operations...
  • Blog Post: A rare calm trip off South Africa

    Going to sea is the most unique aspect of this job, and my primary duty – to go on deep-sea trawlers and collect seabird interaction data. I’m one of only three people in South Africa doing this. We are responsible for keeping our eyes peeled and our minds open but focused on the task at...
  • Blog Post: Meeting for conservation interns in Johannesburg

    I am working with the Albatross Task Force as a project through the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) Internship programme. Recently I had a great opportunity to meet other people in the programme, which felt amazing. Together we are a group of hundreds of young and inspirational...
  • Blog Post: International recognition for ATF star Bronwyn Maree

    In the Albatross Task Force we are extremely proud of the dedicated individuals who perform a very challenging role for seabird conservation - working with the fishing industry, government and observer agencies both on-shore and at-sea to demonstrate, introduce and implement mitigation measures to keep...
  • Blog Post: The great Baobab tree has fallen

    Today I just want to pay tribute to my lifelong hero and role model Tata Nelson Mandela. His death really struck a chord in my heart that was never struck before. I guess it is true what they say when they say ‘you never know what you have until it is gone’. His death has sturred up emotions...
  • Blog Post: The threat of rats and mice to the seabirds of our oceans

    Having spent close to three months on Nightingale and then Tristan da Cunha Islands last year I was struck by the incredible seabird diversity on the uninhabited and much smaller island of Nightingale. As many as 13 different seabird species breed on the 3 square kilometre volcanic island with a highest...
  • Blog Post: Lights, camera, action!

    “Lights, camera, action” - that has been the highlight of my month as I was interviewed about the work of the Albatross Task Force and BirdLife in South Africa. I found out that being on television is no easy business. First you have to deal with the intensely bright lights, as bright as...
  • Blog Post: Learning to co-exist

    The earth works as a system, any conservation effort from one environmental sector successfully aids in the preservation of another natural resource. Unfortunately, the same applies with regards to overexploitation. I have been given the opportunity to work with the ATF in South Africa as part of...
  • Blog Post: When bad weather comes, so do the birds…

    For many years leaving port on a Friday was seen as bad luck. Apparently not so on the Isabella Marine as this South African hake trawler leaves Cape Town harbour on a weekly basis, every Friday. This also appears to be regardless of the weather expected, which along the coast of Cape Town can result...
  • Blog Post: A tearful farewell from South Africa

    As my fingers start typing, my hands trembled, tears fell down my face, my brains went blank, then it finally hits me that it was time, time to accept that I am moving on. Although, it saddens my heart to leave the ATF, I am however confident that I came to the formidable ATF team and I made an important...
  • Blog Post: Wandering Albatross- Giant wanderers of the Southern Ocean

    This iconic species is the largest of the great albatrosses, one of the largest bird species in the world, and even one of the best studied. During the winter months these magnificent birds venture close enough to the South African coastline to be seen on pelagic trips or from trawlers fishing for deep...
  • Blog Post: Good fishing and Cape Gannets everywhere… Oh and the weather was fantastic too!

    It was mid-June, meaning the middle of winter and a mere week before the shortest day of the year. At this time of year the waters just off the Western Cape coast are brimming with seabirds and trawlers are followed by thousands of hungry birds squabbling over discards from the boats. The usual culprits...
  • Blog Post: One seabird too many: the smaller ones also count

    I recently conducted a harbour visit at one of Cape Town’s most elegant and popular tourist attraction spots, Hout Bay harbour. Situated in the south-west of Cape Town and bordered by the amazing Table Mountain on the east, Hout Bay harbour has become very popular as a seaside resort to both local...
  • Blog Post: Inspired to ensure albatross continue to roam our oceans

    Before joining the ATF I was fortunate enough to visit the South Atlantic Ocean islands of Tristan da Cunha and Nightingale. The three month trip was one I will never forget. Below: The view of Nightingale Island from the ocean On Nightingale Island I spent 11 weeks doing research on the endangered...
  • Blog Post: Experiencing Regional Fisheries Management Organisations first hand

    This year has been a major learning and experience gaining year for me as the leader of the South African ATF team. I have been given many opportunities to get involved in the application and international relevance of the work the ATF conducts. Some of the fisheries that we work in target fish stocks...