Weekly speaker series will run until the end of July, informing the public on shark and marine conservation
Success reigned again at last week’s Save Our Seas Maine Conservation Speaker Series evening, held on 5 July, which saw Colin Attwood and Lauren de Vos both of UCT/SAEON, present their talks to an audience of students, marine conservationists and the general public.
Colin’s talk covered the effectiveness of marine protected areas and showed interesting statistics of how these designated areas have helped fish stocks recover when compared with the overfishing experienced in unprotected areas.
Lauren gave an introduction to her latest project and findings thus far on the first baited remote underwater survey of sharks and fish in False Bay. She wowed the audience with incredible photographic and video footage, showing us how this low-impact technique addresses sustainable South African fish conservation and marine protected area monitoring. For more information and field updates on her project, visit her blog here http://saveourseas.com/projects/bruvs_false_bay .
Dana Simmons and Gill Charboneau, tourists visiting from the United States had this to say about the talks, ‘They were very inspirational. It’s wonderful to see young people so dedicated to the ocean and environmental issues!’. Peter Fourie was the winner of the lucky prize draw and went home with a Save Our Seas shirt and coffee table book.
This week Thursday, 12 July from 18h30-20h30, will mark the third of five evenings in the speaker series, where Fiona Ayerst and Ryan Johnson will be presenting their talks.
Most shark species in South Africa are in trouble as both their food source and the sharks themselves are routinely caught in their millions by man - despite all the warnings. How are we depleting our oceans and what is the current conservation status of our sharks? What can each person individually do to make a difference for the sharks? Fiona Ayerst, a renowned underwater photographer, will be speaking on behalf of the NPO Sharklife (http://www.sharklife.co.za) and using her beautiful images to address these challenges.
Ryan Johnson is a marine biology and white shark scientist. He will be presenting his research on white shark tagging and conservation in South Africa. Responsibly managing shark resources is an important issue for scientists and the public and his discussion will include ways of reviewing the value of scientific initiatives.
The aim of the Shark Centre is to encourage the conservation and awareness of sharks and marine life in the False Bay area through public educational programmes and activities, and by supporting scientific research.