Expedition blogs and news from the Shallow Marine Surveys Group

Partners SMSG and SAERI

Shallow Marine Surveys Group and South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute promoting and supporting scientific research in the South Atlantic.

In August, 2012, over twenty scientists and amateur naturalists will descend on Ascension Island. Although they have been brought to the small outpost in the Atlantic Ocean from many parts of the world they will be working together as a team with a single purpose: to spend three weeks measuring, photographing, collecting and cataloguing the wide diversity of marine life found on the rocky reefs fringing the island.

[caption id="attachment_150" align="alignleft" width="150"]Shallow Marine Surveys Group Shallow Marine Surveys Group

The effort is being coordinated by the Falkland Islands-based Shallow Marine Surveys Group (SMSG), a community based non-profit organisation founded in 2006 to promote marine research in the South Atlantic and its partner, the newly formed South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI). SMSG has had great success to date with a number of surveys around the Falkland Islands producing new species and numerous scientific publications. Their most recent expedition to the islands of South Georgia was also a great success with significant international participation.

[caption id="attachment_149" align="alignleft" width="150"]South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute

SAERI, based in the Falkland Islands, is an academic research organisation conducting environmental research from the tropics down to the ice in the South Atlantic. Its remit includes the physical and natural sciences.

For the current expedition, the SMSG and SAERI are very pleased to welcome the participation of scientists from the British Antarctic Survey, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, the University of Exeter, UK, the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece, and the Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), Portugal. Also joining the team are scientific staff from the South Georgia and Falkland Islands Governments.

This remarkable and ambitious international effort is fully supported by the Ascension Island Government with members of the Ascension Island Conservation Office taking part in the survey. The expedition logistics have also benefited greatly with assistance from British Forces South Atlantic Islands who are also contributing divers to the effort. The Ascension Island Dive Club will be providing divers and invaluable local knowledge to assist the team.

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Ascension Island Government Support

Thank you to the Administrator and staff at Ascension Island Government.

This expedition would not be possible without the assistance and enthusiastic support of the Ascension Island Government who are project partners and have been instrumental in the organisation of the project.

In particular we'd like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to:

  • Mr Colin Wells - Administrator of Ascension Island, for enabling the project to take place.

  • Mr Stedson Stroud - AIG Conservation Officer/Fisheries.

  • Ms Jolene Sim - AIG Assistant Conservation Officer.

In addition to assistance with logistics, Ascension  Island Government is generously providing access to their launch Wide Awake for diving operations.

The Conservation Department are providing the team with lab space and offices at their Conservation Offices in George Town.

For further information about the work and responsibilities of the Ascension Island Government, please visit their website at

For more information on the conservation work carried out on Ascension by the conservation team please visit

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