The SAAMBR Len Baumann Conference Hall at Ushaka Sea World was packed with concerned citizens all eager to learn more about our oceans and how we can best help preserve these guardians of life on earth, the reason being the SAMSA SEA Pledge Tour. The SST along with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) are currently on this Saldanha to Sodwana Tour. For four weeks the team will be touring South Africa’s coastline spreading the word of coastal conservation to everyone from young school children to the various mayors and dignitaries along the way.
“A family of five dorado, also called dolphin fish, adopted me for the entire length of my solo Atlantic row,” said professional adventurer and champion for South Africa, Peter van Kets, “And every sunrise and sunset they would leap of the water and check on me. If it so happened that I was in my cabin and couldn’t see them, they would jump against the side of my boat or whack their bodies against my oars until I came out and greeted them.”
The Sustainable Seas Trust 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 coastline and spreading the word of coastal conservation to everyone from young school children to the various mayors and dignitaries along the way.
“What does the shark eat?” asked Ulrica Williams to the gathered pre-schoolers. “Seals!” came the unanimous response. “And how does a shark swim?” asked Williams, to which the children gleefully sprung out of their colourful plastic chairs, pointed a hand upwards on their head and swished their little bodies around their play area in a thoroughly shark like manner. The learners at Siyakula crèche in Qolweni township in Plettenberg Bay have been receiving an education unlike any other, all thanks to the Orca Foundation local charity.
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The SAMSA SEA Pledge Tour reveals some exciting news at its Port St Francis leg of the tour
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“On the boat ride out, everyone is always a little nervous about diving with the great white sharks,” said internationally published underwater photographer, Fiona Ayerst, “But anyone that has the chance to swim with them always returns completely converted to ocean conservation.”
“When the sperm whales surfaced from hunting, great big chunks of left over giant squid floated up with them, in the same way that we drop bread crumbs off the table,” said South African ocean conservation champion, Hanli Prinsloo, “With whales, you’re welcome to share their space, but only on their terms.”
“Looking down onto the back of a whale shark is like looking into a beautiful night sky,” said South African conservationist champion, Hanli Prinsloo, “They’re the biggest fish in the sea but the only way they could hurt you is if you swam straight into one, even then it would probably shoot you an apologetic look.”
“I wish with all my heart to make a difference, big or small, as long as I can help to save my sea,” was the SEA Pledge submitted by grade 11 Simon’s Town High School learner, Calvin van der Merwe, to the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) last Tuesday.