“South Africa is actually twice the size we think it is. There is another blue South Africa out there and we need to explore it before we take from it without knowing,” said Dr Sylvia Earle, internationally renowned oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Time Magazine’s “First Hero for the Planet”, and most importantly, patron for South African based charity, the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST).
The SST, in partnership with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), launched the SAMSA SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour at the V&A Waterfront on 15 April, with Dr Earle as the distinguished guest speaker for the evening.
The tour will take place over four weeks, with stop overs in as many major coastal towns as possible. The SST and SAMSA team will engage the public in beach activities, visit schools, hold gala events with guest speakers and much more. Members of the public are all invited to make their own SEA Pledge, a promise you make to yourself and the planet, detailing how you will contribute to healthier oceans.
On board the cause is also 11 times South African free-diving record holder, Hanli Prinsloo of the I Am Water trust, as well as past premier for KwaZulu-Natal and former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ben Ngubane. Prinsloo, Dr Ngubane and SAMSA Executive Head Officer, Boetse Ramahlo all addressed the audience at the launch.
“Listening to Sylvia and Hanli speak, I suddenly realised that all of my best memories have happened at the sea side,” said University of Cape Town student, Nicole Onderstall, “It’s only just hit me how big a role it has plays in sustaining life on earth.”
“Food security is not dependent upon our ocean,” explained Earle, “Food choices are. This is where the SST comes riding to the rescue.”
Both SST and SAMSA have a mandate which calls for healthier South African oceans and coastline, a step forward to achieving this goal is to aid the coastal communities so reliant upon the food in our seas. “We have a choice of the protein we eat,” continued Earle, “the wild animals don’t.” Money raised from the tour will be put into education and skills training of impoverished coastal communities, ensuring they need not rely on our vanishing coastal resources but rather find a more sustainable way of living, leaving our seas to recuperate from fierce usurping.
South Africans everywhere are invited to join the SST and SAMSA on the coastal tour, to make their SEA Pledge and help spread the word for ocean aid.
As Earle says, “We haven’t even explored the areas that deep sea fishing is taking place in, we have to remember that with no ocean, there is no life.”
For more information, please visit www.sst.org.za
High resolution images available on request
Photographer: Desiree Schirlinger
Internationally renowned oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer in residence, Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) patron and much more, Dr Sylvia Earle presented her talk “Sustainable Seas, the vision, the reality” at the launch of South African Maritime Safety Authority and SST SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour at the V&A Waterfront on Monday.
Past premier of KwaZulu-Natal and Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) patron, Dr Ben Ngubane, spoke about his involvement with SST founding trustee, Dr Tony Ribbink, during the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme. Ngubane was one of the many distinguished guest speakers at the launch of South African Maritime Safety Authority and SST SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour at the V&A Waterfront on Monday.
Dr Tony Ribbink, director and founding trustee of the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST), graciously thanks internationally renowned oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer in residence, SST patron Dr Sylvia Earle, for speaking at the launch of South African Maritime Safety Authority and SST SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour at the V&A Waterfront on Monday.
Internationally renowned oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer in residence, Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) patron and much more, Dr Sylvia Earle.
Vernon Head, chairman of Bird Life South Africa and Christina Mosely , manager of the Coastal Seabird Conservation also attended the launch of the SAMSA SEA Pledge Saldanha to Sodwana Tour.
Issued on behalf of:
The Sustainable Seas Trust (SST)
Press release disseminated by:
Olivia Jones Communications
Landline: (031) 303 9341