The Seabird Conservation Programme successfully transitioned to a remote work setup under the COVID-19 circumstances and the need for social-distancing. The team operates over remote work schedules to check on daily progress and is in regular communication with each other using various IT platforms. We have set out to develop contingency plans for our projects and to engage with stakeholders and funders during these challenging times.
Albatross Task Force
The team has been preparing for national lockdown and remote working protocols. While the ATF will during this time not be able to engage directly with fisheries stakeholders or conduct work at sea, we have engaged with various stakeholders on how to move forward with projects and contingency plans. Reason Nyengera met with the Ocean View Association for Persons with Disabilities to find ways to assist the centre during this time as their members will lose their only source of income, an invaluable contribution to their families.
Nini van der Merwe, Alistair McInnes, Andrea Angel and Christina Hagen had a meeting to discuss the budgets for the M-FM project. Nini also spent some time working on the National Geographic grant and making sure the reporting requirements are met. Nini has been in touch with the web developer and will be working on the website with him over the next few weeks.
Gough Island Restoration Programme
Nini has been investigating options for importing and storing the bait for the project, which has already been shipped from New Zealand. She has also been working with the programme team to investigate options for getting the aviculture and construction team back to South Africa.
Christina helped get the team properly set up for remote working and collaboration and sorted through several hundred hours of video footage from CCTV cameras at De Hoop to find clips to train a machine-learning algorithm to process future footage automatically. Andrew de Blocq worked on a literature review of non-breeding seabird tracking research. He also attended to vehicle and Atlas of Seabirds At Sea administration tasks.