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Marine Protection Zone, Tristan da Cunha | The RSPB

Tristan da Cunha marine protection zone

Thanks to work by the Tristan community, the RSPB and our partners, a vast marine protection zone (MPZ) has been designated in the South Atlantic.

This 690,000km2 zone – almost three times the size of the UK – will safeguard one of the world’s most pristine marine environments and protect the wealth of wildlife that lives there. Critically endangered albatrosses, rockhopper penguins, blue sharks and beaked whales are all set to benefit.

Tristan da Cunha and marine protection zone waters at sunset | The RSPB

Welcome to Tristan

Tristan da Cunha is a place like no other – discover this beautiful archipelago and its spectacular wildlife in our video. 


Blue shark in waters off Tristan da Cunha | The RSPB

A marine paradise

Located over 2,000km from the nearest land, it takes longer to sail to Tristan da Cunha from Cape Town than it took Apollo 11 to reach the Moon! The waters that surround this remote UK Overseas Territory are some of the richest in the world.

Tens of millions of seabirds soar above the waves, penguins and seals cram onto the beaches, threatened sharks breed offshore and mysterious whales feed in the deep-water canyons. 

Subantarctic fur seal in the marine protection zone in waters off Tristan da Cunha | The RSPB

Saving our seas

The new Tristan MPZ will be the biggest no-take area in the Atlantic: the jewel in the crown of UK marine protection.

Northern Rockhopper Penguin in the marine protection zone, Tristan da Cunha | The RSPB

Why are oceans important?

Our oceans are a vital, yet fragile, resource. We rely on them for obvious things, like food, but they also affect our lives in other ways, for example by supporting a stable climate. In a bid to help safeguard our global oceans, the UK government and our Overseas Territories pledged to create a four million square kilometre “Blue Belt” of protected areas. The new Tristan MPZ forms the final piece of this puzzle. 

Atlantic yellow-nosed Albatross in flight over water in the marine protection zone, Tristan da Cunha | The RSPB

Working together

The MPZ was created thanks to the leadership of the Tristan da Cunha Government. The RSPB led work on the ground with the local community, partnering with the UK government Blue Belt Programme, National Geographic Pristine Seas and the Great British Oceans coalition. The Blue Nature Alliance, the Wyss Foundation, Kaltroco, the Don Quixote II Foundation, and the Becht Family Charitable Trust together with the Blue Marine Foundation, were also instrumental.

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