BREAKING NEWS: Coelacanth sighted in @isimangaliso Wetland Park Marine Protected Area. Jabulani Ngubane, @ezemvelokznwild Parks Manager boarded a research vessel on expedition (the Angra Pequena) in Sodwana for the first time this week. “This was my first time on expedition,” said Ngubane. “I want to be able to make informed decisions within my management role at the park, and wanted to fully understand and witness what researchers are doing in our waters. When I climbed on board I said to the crew that I was bringing luck.” Jabulani certainly brought luck along. Only a few hours into his very first research expedition the ROV (remote operated vehicle) spotted a coelacanth in a cave 125m below the surface, a dinosaur fish thought to be extinct with only 33 known to inhabit the canyons along the South African coastline. The expedition aims to understand the deep canyons that incise the eats coast, and the ROV was provided by the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (@acep_za) and piloted by Ryan Palmer of the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity. “Seeing the coelacanth electrified everyone on board – the experience was extraordinary and special. I realise what a privilege it was for me to be there and see it. I also think an experience like this reminds everyone why they do the work they do. Dr Kerry Sink of the South African National Biodiversity Institute who maintains an identification catalogue for the coelacanths seen to date, was aboard and identified the fish as Eric, one of the 33 fish that has been catalogued and he was last seen in 2013,” said Dr Jean Harris of @wildoceanssa. “This will give us insight into their life span and them being resident in the caves.”
The WILDOCEANS Research Vessel Angra Pequena is currently off our coastline in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, where a team of Ocean Stewards have been deploying a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) into offshore canyons to depths of over 100m. More updates on their research and findings to follow.....
Our Campaign Lead, Lauren van Nijkerk is attending Conservation Lab being held at Spier, Stellenbosch in Cape Town. Being in a room filled with conservation and tourism game changers is a real privilege. This is also what they call an un-conference and they encourage people to challenge the norms. The need for communication in the sector is very clear, as well as the need to repackage conservation and environmental content for the youth. “Lots of the lab attendees were very impressed with the creative and unique way we communicate our campaign messages. When I spoke about the announcement in October last year of 0.4% to 5% MPA expansion I received a round of applause. While the acknowledgment of a positive step in the right direction for our waters was great, I did emphasize that we need to strive towards 10% by 2020 and 30%, which is the protection science tells us we need, by 2030.
WILDOCEANS hosted a clean up at the Royal Natal Yacht club at the Durban Harbour in an effort to continue reducing the pollution after the #DurbanFloods. Not only did they collect 20 tons of litter, they sorted it all into different waste categories that were then sent to their depot for recycling. Thank you WILDOCEANS for spearheading this initiative.
What a powerful video to pay tribute to the colossal achievement of all those involved, big or small, in expanding South Africa's Marine Protected Areas from 0.4% to 5% last year. This video aired at the MPA Celebratory Event last week as a thank you and acknowledgement of all the incredibly hard work and dedication it took to reach such a milestone, but also serve as encouragement to keep pushing for the next one.
#NametheCampaign You sent in your suggestions, and over the last two weeks we narrowed them down and finally selected the 'chosen' name...and we are almost done with the creative side for our NEW name and logo! Here's the first 5% reveal from the guys at The Sight Seekers of this exciting new phase. Can you guess what it is? Keep a close eye on the page for the big reveal!