The official SAMSA Sea Pledge tour which drew to a close on 10 May 2013 was a great success for the Sustainable Seas Trust and all of those involved. It was a truly amazing and inspiring experience for our team and the awareness which was created for the need to sustainably manage our ocean resources was a message that was continuously sent throughout the tour.
By April 2014, we will publish a book and produce a short film titled The Splendour of South African Seas, a publication that all South Africans will become involved in producing.
The purpose of the project is to engender pride in our coast, its towns and the many activities it offers. South Africans from all over our shoreline as well as those inland will be asked to contribute photographs displaying what they cherish about our coast. From family days’ at the beach, to scuba diving and exploring our rock pools, all these activities deserve recognition as part our coastal culture. Committees will be established in around 17 different towns around our coast and will help us liaise with the communities and engage interest. Yachtsmen, surfers, fishermen, holiday makers and everyone else who uses our coastline to make their lives happier and more fulfilled will be approached and asked to enter any hidden gems they might be holding onto.
On Wednesday, the 1st of May, youth projects from the communities of Marselle, Klipfontein and Ekuphumleni came together to learn about the ocean conservation and the importance of ensuring that the ecosystems of our local coastline are protected. The Kariega Project facilitated the coming together of the youth projects, the Sustainable Seas Trust, Quest Africa, Rotary and the Ndlambe Municipality in order to put on an educational and fun day in the sun. The Sustainable Seas Trust team is on their SAMSA Saldanha to Sodwana SEA Pledge Tour and made use of the opportunity to spend the day with the children from these active youth projects.
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.”