A renowned researcher from the University of Pretoria’s Mammal Research Institute (MRI), Prof Marthán N. Bester, has co-authored chapters on Tristan da Cunha and British Antarctic Territory in a spectacular educational book, Britain’s Distant Seas.
Research by the MRI at the Tristan da Cunha Islands (TdCI) and in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, focused on the use of top predators (seals) as bio-indicators of environmental conditions and as tools for suitable management of natural resources. This served, amongst others, aspirations by the United Kingdom Government to establish a regime for protecting the waters of the TdCI across its entire maritime zone by 2020, and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) member states to designate a marine protected area (MPA) in the Weddell Sea.
“In 2016 our research at the TdCI was recognised through the TdC Biodiversity stamp series’ official first day cover, and our fur seal subjects also featured in the 2017 stamp issue . Now these research findings, both at the TdCI and in the Eastern Weddell Sea, are summarised in Britain’s Distant Seas about the waters of the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs), by Stewart McPherson,” Prof Bester explains.
Britain’s Distant Seas is one of six books, amongst other resources, contained in the UK Schools Boxes, 20 000 of which are sent to schools across the UK mainland and UKOTs during October. Every school across the UKOTs will receive one of these resource boxes, and the rest will be donated to (most) primary schools across mainland UK. The boxes are generously, fully funded by the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation, and are completely free for the schools. The electronic version of Britain’s Distant Seas, which prominently features the MRI and NAS logos in the front of the book, is available online, together with an accompanying video on YouTube.