RRS Discovery St Helena Scientific Expedition Begins

After lots of planning, and several failed attempts since 2020 due to COVID-19, the Royal Research Ship (RRS) Discovery has arrived in St Helena’s waters.

Local scientists Elizabeth Clingham, Leeann Henry, Joachim Naulaerts, Kirsty Jones, Cerys Joshua and Kirsten Augustus have boarded the vessel for nine days of exciting scientific expedition on the high seas.

The Blue Belt Programme DY159 expedition has arrived after spending nine days conducting research within the Ascension Island Marine Protected Area (MPA). With local scientist now on board, it has commenced work in St Helena’s MPA. Work is taking place 24 hours a day and will include surveys and mapping of seamounts, amongst lots of other activities.

On joining the vessel, SHG Marine Section Marine Apprentice Cerys Joshua said:

“I am grateful to be going on the Discovery, as it is a once in a life time opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to all of the new experiences that I will gain from this exposure trip. And most importantly, I can’t wait to learn new and exciting things and to meet new people.”

The St Helena National Trust Marine Apprentice Kirsten Augustus, also joining the expedition, said:

“I’m going to make the most of this opportunity by learning as much as I can and by gaining experience in a different environment. I am looking forward to observing the work done on the Discovery and contributing to its progress, as well as the possibility of discovering new species for St Helena Island!”

Internet permitting, the local team onboard will be updating the St Helena MPA social media accounts and using #DY159 to let everyone know how work is progressing. SHG’s Marine Apprentice, Cerys Joshua, will be writing a small blog each day on her experience. This can be viewed on the SHG website, the St Helena MPA social media pages, or found by using #DISCOCerys on social media. Two live call in’s from the ship are also scheduled to be aired on local radio, so watch this space.

28 November 2022

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: communications@sainthelena.gov.sh