This month I decided to make a plea for conserving our oceans and beaches that hug the southern tip of Africa. Only 80 percent of our oceans have been explored and a mere 7 percent of the world’s oceans are designated protected marine areas. So much of our oceans are still a mystery and we are struggling to take care and protect the 20 percent that we know of. According to the WWF about 80 percent of the pollution found in the ocean comes from land-based activities. We are failing our oceans when they play such an important part in regulating our climate, producing food and supplying oxygen and moisture to our atmosphere. I challenge you this month to learn something new about our amazing oceans and to remember you can make a difference by picking up any trash that you encounter while taking a walk on one of our beautiful beaches.
Jean Tresfon is a Marine Conservation photographer in Cape Town and shares his beautiful photos and sightings of our Cape Town oceans on Facebook. He takes experts in the field to look for specific species in some instances and at other times he checks what species can be found near our beaches. Some of the highlighted sightings includes a massive Great White Shark spotted at De Hoop and a mere 50 metres away, a pod of Humpback Dolphins with a tiny calf.
The Humpback Dolphins are our most endangered species of dolphins in South Africa. He also saw Bottlenose Dolphin pods in great numbers further on his flight which is always a treat. On other flights this month he also saw Sunfish and Southern Right Whales. Gully Sharks in big numbers were also seen close to the beach. To read more about his adventures and stay updated on the sightings visit his Facebook page
Jean Tresfon – Marine Conservation Photographer| Facebook
Another amazing thing that happened recently in our oceans, is that the Sea Turtle rehabilitation team of the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation has released 44 rehabilitated Turtles back into our ocean. They were released about 30 nautical miles south of Hout Bay. Most of these turtles were found stranded on our Western Cape beaches. They are brought to the facility at the Two Oceans Aquarium where they are rehabilitated. Once they are ready for release the smaller Turtles will be chipped and the larger Turtles usually tagged to help with research in helping their species survive and to monitor their movements and get more information for Conservation purposes. To read more about what they do at the Two Oceans Education Foundation follow the following link
Sea Turtle Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release – Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation (aquariumfoundation.org.za)
Our oceans need our support in conservation and active deeds of cleaning up. We should let our love for the oceans determine our planning for a future of oceans that all species will survive.
A future for our children that they will be able to enjoy our natural beaches the same way we enjoy them now. We can really make an effort, not only in the month of February, but throughout the year. Let’s make this year a year for the love of our oceans and try to protect that what we love fully.