Marine Conservation

Caring for the coast and ocean 

News from the Marine Conservation Project

Nurdles – lentil-sized plastic pellets

Nurdles – lentil-sized plastic pellets

12/12/17
Stormy seas the 10th of October 2017 caused a marine container to spill vast numbers of plastic nurdles in Durban. Nurdles are tiny plastic particles used in the manufacture of products. The shipping company has accepted responsibility for the spill along the KwaZulu Natal coast. However, winds and coastal currents carried the pellets closer and closer. The nurdles have been reported from Nature’s Valley, soon the Garden Route and Stilbaai followed, with latest reports from Hermanus. Just as other plastics, these plastic pellets are incredibly harmful to all marine life and has to be removed from beaches as a matter of urgency, Tersia Marais of  S.M.A.R.T in Mossel Bay has coordinated volunteers to assist with collection and arranged drop-off points (as per poster) for the collected nurdles. South African Association of Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) suggests sieves or shadenet to collect the nurdles (more information on the poster). Tersia urges all beach users to assist with the clean up campaign. “Ons doen 'n beroep op al ons vriende  wat in die Suid-Kaap woon of kom vakansie hou - as jy tyd het, neem 'n kombuissif of kinder visnet en 'n emmer en gaan na die strand naaste aan jou. Op die hoogste hoogwatermerk sal jy tussen all die ander dinge wat die see uitspoeg klein, vaal balletjies wat amper soos BB koeeltjies lyk, sien lê. Die goed word "nurdles" genoem. Hulle is lewensgevaarlik vir die meeste mariene diere. Dit het in die see beland agv 'n storm gedurende Oktober in Durban se hawe en spoel nou ook aan ons Suid-Kaapse strande uit. Strande in die groter Mosselbaai area wat erg deurloop is Gouritz, Boggomsbaai, Vleesbaai en Grootbrakrivier. Maak 'n verskil en help om die nurdles op te tel. Daar is verskeie versamelpunte in Mosselbaai waarvan die Shark Lab by die Punt, die maklikste bereikbaar is. Vergeet van die TV, Facebook, Twitter, ens. vir n paar uur; geniet die vars seelug en red 'n seeskilpad deur pro-aktief te wees.” Inligting saamgestel deur Tersia Marais van S.M.A.R.T (Stranded Marine Animal Rescue Team). Laai die dokumente hiernaas af.
Read more
Kids love Fin

Kids love Fin

12/7/17
Fin and his friends have been delighting kids in the Mossel Bay area this year with the 'Keep Fin Alive' puppet show, sponsored by Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve and Garden Route Casino Community Trust and supported by Oceans Research. Sharks play a vital role to keep our oceans healthy, but are a difficult animal to conserve as they’re not as charismatic as other animals. The puppet show aims to teach youngsters that sharks are not the monsters the media portray them to be, and that they’re a very important part of the ocean ecosystem. Teachers from the various preschools describe it as “wonderfully entertaining and informative puppet show", “kids love Fin and his friends and the cool facts they learn”, “the puppeteers did a FINtastic job entertaining the kids”, “It was great to see that a couple of the reluctant kids, who were scared of sharks before the show, warm up to the characters”. South African Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, is also a '#Fin Hugger'.  Learn more about our 2017 events in the attached document.
Read more
Marine Puppet Show A Must!

Marine Puppet Show A Must!

11/12/17
Paul and Marina Eilers are doing the rounds at Mossel Bay primary schools with a Marine/Shark awareness puppet show. Pictures show the Gr4-7 learners at St Luke’s Brandwag, with the principal Mr Mann in attendance and representatives of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR), Wendy Crane and Luami Zondagh. The Garden Route Casino Trust funded the initial development of the script (Afrikaans and English versions, songs and a worksheet, some of the puppets and equipment). The English version has been well received at numerous pre-schools in Mossel Bay (and is ongoing) and executed by passionate shark conservationist Esther Overbeeke of the Keep Fin Alive campaign.  The current run is co-sponsored by the Trust and the Mossel Bay Municipality. The GCBR has been the facilitator of all the above mentioned legs of the shark/marine awareness programmes.  Paul and Marina are known for the excellence of their work. To attend one of their shows should be on anyone’s bucket list! Again, a very successful partnership between the Trust, the Mossel Bay Municipality, the GCBR and service providers Marina, Paul and Esther! More photos below...
Read more
How our clothes are poisoning our oceans and food supply

How our clothes are poisoning our oceans and food supply

5/14/17
 Micro-plastic pollution is devastating our oceans. In an article published in The Guardian Newspaper on the 20th June 2016 it is reported that new studies indicate that the fibres in our clothes could be poisoning our waterways and food chain on a massive scale. Microfibres – tiny threads shed from fabric – have been found in abundance on shorelines where waste water is released. Recent research indicates that the biggest culprit may be the shirt off your back. In an alarming study, researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara found that, on average, synthetic fleece jackets release 1.7 grams of microfibres each wash. It also found that older jackets shed almost twice as many fibres as new jackets. Download full article below.
Read more
Walking Under the Rocks – promoting citizen science

Walking Under the Rocks – promoting citizen science

7/21/16
The GCBR launched a new initiative recently around marine conservation. “Walking under the Rocks” is organised together with Oceans Research in Mossel Bay. The latter have an ongoing research and conservation project on intertidal organisms at Kanon Private Nature Reserve. Its aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of small nature reserves on the marine environment as well as understanding the driving factors of the intertidal ecosystems at Kanon. Intertidal ecosystems have a huge impact on subsistence provisioning and on ecotourism. But there is not much local knowledge about the intertidal organisms – the species living between the two tide levels. Everyone knows dolphins, whales and sharks but very few realise the unique combination of living organisms under our feet.
Read more
Shark whisperer shares his thoughts

Shark whisperer shares his thoughts

7/15/16
From the age of about five Enrico Gennari wanted to do research on the great white shark, and he is still pursuing this dream with his work at Oceans Research in Mossel Bay.  After completing his master’s degree in Natural Science at the University of  Rome La Sapienza, he took a gap year to work as scuba dive master in Italy, before joining Ryan Johnson doing research on the great white shark. Together he and Johnson tracked a single white shark for 103 hours – quite an achievement as it had had never been done before.
Read more
Walking under the Rocks

Walking under the Rocks

5/24/16
Come join us and become a ‘citizen scientist’! Everyone knows dolphins, whales and sharks. But very few realise the unique combination of living organisms under our feet on our coastline. These intertidal ecosystems have huge impact on subsistence provisioning and on ecotourism. But there is not much local knowledge about the intertidal organisms – the species that live between the two tide levels.
Read more
Keep fin alive

Keep fin alive

4/27/16
 A programme to make learners of local primary schools more aware of the importance of sharks to our planet commenced on 13 October 2015 and will continue until the end of the month.
Read more

follow us

Information

GCBR Newsletter


Twitter