Anton Wolfaardt holds his Mouse-Free Marion Sponsor a Hectare certificate received in appreciation of his leadership of the ACAP Seabird Bycatch Working Group
In February last year Anton Wolfaardt was appointed Project Manager of the Mouse-Free Marion Project that aims to rid South Africa’s sub-Antarctic island of its seabird-killing House Mice in 2024. Previously Anton had served from 2013 as Convenor of ACAP’s Seabird Bycatch Working Group, whose membership comprises experts and practitioners in the field of seabird bycatch and bycatch mitigation. Anton was responsible for facilitating and co-ordinating the work of the SBWG to ensure that efforts to better understand and reduce the impacts of bycatch on seabirds, especially albatrosses and petrels, were progressed, and that ACAP remained responsive to emerging bycatch-related issues. During his three-term convenorship the SBWG expanded its scope from a technical focus on mitigation approaches in industrial fisheries to include small-scale fisheries, monitoring and compliance requirements, and the socio-economic aspects of bycatch.
On becoming MFM Project Manager, Anton stood down as SBWG Coordinator to devote his full efforts towards the eradication of Marion Island’s mice. In grateful recognition of his long service the ACAP Secretariat sponsored a hectare in his name. On receiving his parting gift Anton has written “I am very grateful to my friends and colleagues at ACAP for their gift of a sponsorship towards the MFM Project. Although I am no longer formally involved in ACAP work, the MFM Project is of direct relevance to ACAP, and South Africa’s commitment to albatross and petrel conservation. Marion Island is an important breeding site for ACAP species. The eradication of mice from the island will enable the globally important albatross and petrel populations that have been adversely impacted by mouse predation to recover to their original glory. I look forward to keeping ACAP colleagues, and others, informed of our progress.”
NOTE: Originally published on the Mouse-Free Marion website in a slightly different form.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 14 January 2022