Marion Island

The S.A. Agulhas II departed from East Pier, V&A Waterfront on her annual Marion Island relief voyage, Sunday 17 April 2022. The expected time of arrival at the island is today, 21 April 2022.

The first leg of the voyage, Oceanographic Leg 1, from Cape Town to Marion Island, was dedicated to underway sampling (the vessel did not stop for sampling to take place).

Once at the island, take-over operations will commence immediately (weather permitting) – all land-based scientists, National Department of Public Works (NDPW) personnel, and take-over personnel (DFFE) will disembark. Cargo will be slung with helicopters to the island and fuel will be pumped to the island. Hereafter, the vessel will depart from Marion Island on the 2nd Oceanographic leg (annual Research and Monitoring programme around the Prince Edward Islands). The 3rd Oceanographic leg will commence after take-over, on the way back to Cape Town.  

What is planned for the 2022 take-over on Marion Island (land-based)

  • base and hut maintenance (NDPW)
  • base and hut restock
  • take-over function
    • 79th Marion Island overwintering team (meet the team in next article) to take over from 78th Marion Island overwintering team (M78 – click here).
  • take-over projects – scientific fieldwork (see table below) 
University of Fort Hare, Department of Geography
Landscape and climate Interactions In a changing sub-Antarctic Environment🔗
Group LeaderProf Werner Nel
DFFE: Oceans and Coasts
Southern Ocean and Island Research Programme
Group LeaderDr Azwianewi Makhado
BirdLife South Africa & University of Pretoria
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences🔗
Longitudinal monitoring of terrestrial diversity to assess the effects of mouse eradiction on Marion Island, and bait and mouse trials to inform further planning for the project
Group LeaderMr Luis Alberto Rodriguez-Pertierra
BirdLife South Africa, DFFE
Mouse-Free Marion (Project to Eradicate House Mica from Marlon Island)🔗
Group LeaderDr Anton Wolfaardt
South African National Space Agency (SANSA)
Polar Space Weather Studies🔗
Group LeaderMr Matthew Spoor
South African Weather Service (SAWS)
Atmosphere and Ocean Surface Research🔗
Group LeaderMr Vuyo Xelithole
University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science
Observing Dawn In the Cosmos🔗
Group LeaderMr Ronny Joseph
University of Pretoria, Mammal Research Unit, Department of Zoology & Entomology
Marion Island Marine Mammal Programme (MIMMP)🔗
Marion Island Marine Mammals in Changing Environments: lndividual Heterogeneity and Population Processes
Group LeaderProf Nico de Bruyn
Nelson Mandela University, Department of Zoology
Marine Apex Predator Research Unit (MAPRU)🔗
Avian scavengers as indicators of recovery of an island biota
Group LeaderDr Maëlle Connan

What is planned for the take-over onboard the S.A. Agulhas II (ship-based)

DFFE: Ocean & Coasts Research
DFFE Ship-based Southern Ocean and Islands Research Programme
Ocean Physics: Group LeaderMr Gavin Tutt
Ocean Chemistry: Group LeaderDr Thato Mtshali
Ocean Biological: Group Leader Mr Henry Kakora
DFFE:Ocean & Coasts, University of Cape Town, Bayworld Centre for Research & Education
Group LeaderMr. Grant van der Heever
University of Pretoria
Enhanced insights regarding the ecology, evolution, and function of marine microbiomes
Group LeaderMr Choaro Dithugoe

Land-based DFFE and other take-over personnel

Department of Forestry Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE)
Directorate: Southern Oceans & Antarctic Support
Management, logistics and support for this voyage
Departmental Co-ordinator (DCO)Mr Errol Julies
Assistant DCOMr Mfundo Tima
Admin Officer Ms Pozisa Matshoba
General/Waste Technician Mr Sabata Setona
General/Waste Technician Mr Mazizi Salmani
Directorate: Oceans, Coasts & Biosecurity Compliance
Environmental Control Officer Mr Thomas Mufanadzo
Directorate: Earth Systems Strategies
Prince Edward Islands Management Authority (Oversight Management Functions)
Group LeaderMs Ntombovuyo Madlokazi
Chief Scientists
Land-basedProf Werner Nel
Ship-basedMr Marcel van den Berg
National Department of Public Works (NDPW)
Maintenance Support
Group LeaderMr Takalani Mudau


Featured Image: S.A. Agulhas II at Marion Island, May 2014 (Credit: Anche Louw). 
Anche Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 21 April 2022
© South African National Antarctic Programme • Managed and administered by Antarctic Legacy of South Africa • Photo Credits
Share This