The SAMSA SEA Pledge Tour reveals some exciting news at its Port St Francis leg of the tour
A ground breaking announcement was made at the Port St Francis Sustainable Seas Centre last Saturday, as delegates from the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) stopped over in the centre during the SAMSA SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour.
The SST along with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) are currently on the SAMSA SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour. For four weeks the team will be touring South Africa’s coast line and spreading the word of coastal conservation to everyone from young school children to the various mayors and dignitaries along the way.
The environmental education centre in Port St Francis is run by Rob and Sam Bester of Gypsea and the Grahamstown based non-profit, SST.As well as hosting a highly informative evening talk function, earlier on in the day a foot and mountain bike race was held along with a catch and release fishing competition in the harbour to mark the team’s arrival in town.
The evening function had SAMSA Business Analyst at the Centre for Fishing, Nondumiso Mfenyana, make the exciting announcement that a SAMSA branch would soon be moving into the centre and working alongside the Besters. “We will use the centre as our base in Port St Francis,” explained Mfenyana, “Where we can interact closely with the boat owners, involve ourselves in educational programmes and assist in keeping the centre active.”
The announcement was well received by the centres owners, “With SAMSA involved we’ll be able to build a stronger partnership with the fishermen,” said Rob Bester, “Those are the people we really need to get in touch with to help change their ways. We’re also very interested in their plans for career development.”
Bester further explained that by just forming an understanding between fishing company Balobi and the centre, Balobi has quickly become a figurehead in fishing practices in Port St Francis. “When they come in to dock the first thing that comes off their boats are their waste products,” said Bester, “Every tin can, every bread packet they took with them is accounted for when they arrive back and that sets a positive example to the other fishing companies to not dump refuse out at sea. With SAMSA behind us now, we hope to spread those practices around even more.”
It’s with partnerships like these that the fishing industry can slowly change its ways for the better, creating a sustainable ocean environment for all, which forms the backbone of the mandate for the SST and SAMSA. South African’s everywhere are invited to join the SST and SAMSA on the coastal tour, to make their SEA Pledge and set their own personal goals of how they will contribute to securing the healthy future of our oceans.
Port St Francis Photos by Des Schirlinger :
The St Francis Sustainable Seas Centre held a multitude of fun activities for the young and old as part of the Sustainable Seas Trust and South African Maritime Safety Authority’s SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour. A catch and release fishing competition in the harbour was the highlight for many
The view from the St Francis Sustainable Seas Centre, an interactive working visitors centre at Port St Francis, for everyone interested in the ocean, marine life and other environmental issues. The centre held a multitude of fun activities for the young and old as part of the Sustainable Seas Trust and South African Maritime Safety Authority’s SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour.
SAMSA Business Analyst at the Centre for Fishing, Nondumiso Mfenyana, making the exciting announcement that a SAMSA branch would soon be moving into St Francis Sustainable Seas Centre.
Rob and Sam Bester, managers of the St Francis Sustainable Seas Centre and Dr Tony Ribbink, director of the Sustainable Seas Trust at the Port St Francis stop of the SAMSA SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour.