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 albatross off the hook. It gives us great pleasure to announce that one of the stars of the ATF has received international recognition for their efforts.

Bronwyn Maree has been with the ATF since 2008, based in Cape Town, South Africa where she is ATF team leader. Bronwyn has been presented with a prestigious international conservation award, having been selected in the top three of 126 candidates from 58 countries - an amazing achievement and thoroughly deserved recognition for all her hard work.

Have you ever asked yourself what the world would be like without wild animal and plants species? It is not a picture we would like to imagine...and one the Future for Nature Foundation aims to prevent from occurring. The foundation supports young, talented and ambitious conservations that are committed to protecting endangered species through the presentation of an annual award.

The Future for Nature award encourages individuals to become conservation leaders and opens doors to an international network of dedicated conservationists who are able to provide learning support, mentoring and financial assistance. The award highlights individuals who can be seen as role models who can pass on their passion and love of nature conservation to other young people, while stimulating the individual to continue their outstanding efforts in protecting endangered species.

Bronwyn was selected for achieving substantial and long-term benefits to the conservation status of albatross and petrels, and showing leadership and innovation in her work. Seabird mortality, particularly of albatross species in South Africa has been reduced significantly since the introduction of mitigation measures in the hake fisheries and this reduction has been maintained over several years now. Without individuals like Bronwyn this would never have been possible.  

On receiving the news Bronwyn said she “was extremely honoured and excited to receive news just two days before Christmas!” Along with the international recognition this award brings for her work with albatrosses, 50 000 Euros is granted to be used for a project of her choice. Bronwyn explained that “this will go a long way towards ensuring that the world will never be without albatross!”

Congratulations Bronwyn from all at the RSPB for your extremely well-deserved award!!! Keep up the great work. 

Below: Bronwyn on field work duty at Marion Island, South Atlantic