The waters of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago are vast, covering an area about three times the size of the U.K. mainland. Four islands make up the archipelago: Tristan, Inaccessible, Nightingale, and Gough. Tristan, the only inhabited island, is the largest. They are relatively unspoiled and vitally important for a wide range of fish, birds, whales, and seals. The remote location of this British overseas territory in the South Atlantic Ocean—about 2,400 kilometers east of South Africa—means that a large number of these species are found nowhere else on Earth.
Tristan’s waters are the feeding ground for the Tristan and Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, as well the critically endangered spectacled petrel. This petrel’s population has dropped to just 10,000 breeding pairs, all living on the archipelago’s aptly named Inaccessible Island. Tristan’s islands are home to 80 percent of the sub-Antarctic fur seal population and important populations of southern elephant seals. Nearly all of the world’s northern rockhopper penguins live here.
The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy team continues to explore ways to protect the marine environment of Tristan da Cunha while supporting the needs of the small number of people that call Tristan home.