Name of customer organisation: South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI)

Contract Start date : 25/07/2018

Contract completion date:  21/09/2018

The MBA and University of Plymouth experts were commissioned by the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) to assess the provision of ecosystem services by deep sea ecosystems around Ascension Island and their vulnerability to human activities. This important work formed part of a suite of natural capital assessments to support the Ascension Island Government to make decisions regarding the designation of a Marine Protected Area. The result was that full protection will be provided to 443,000 square kilometres of ocean around to safeguard the deep sea habitats as well as the associated species including green turtles, swordfish, sharks, tuna and marlin. The pioneering methods to vulnerability assessments developed by the MBA and experts from the University of Plymouth have wider application for the South Atlantic UK Overseas Territories which, between them, have jurisdiction over more than 3.5 million square kilometres of deep sea ecosystems.

Reference: La Bianca, G., Heidi Tillin, H., Hodgson, B., Erni-Cassola, G., Howell, K. Sian Rees, S.2018. Ascension Island- Natural Capital Assessment. Report by the Marine Biological Association of the UK for the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI).