Thursday 8 November marked the start of the November Marine Conservation Speaker Series held at the Save Our Seas Shark Centre, which opened with talks from Dr. Paul Cowley and Lauren De Vos. The talks, which are free and open to the public, aim to provide a platform for marine researchers and experts to share their knowledge and passion for sharks and marine conservation with members of the public.
Dr. Paul Cowley, who is the Principal Scientist at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), a Research Associate of the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science and a member of the Faculty of Science at Rhodes University and an active member of several national research coordinating groups, gave a talk that focused on ‘The role of estuaries in the life of iconic fishery species’. Dr. Cowley’s talk discussed the important role of estuaries in maintaining healthy fisheries as well as the vulnerability of estuarine fish species in the context of research findings from biotelemetry and other data monitoring techniques. His talk highlighted the need for enhanced management of estuaries and showed the importance of Catch And Release Angling (CARA) clinics in South Africa.
Lauren De Vos, who is a Save Our Seas funded researcher at UCT’s Marine Research Institute, spoke about ‘Bringing our Oceans Ashore: Cameras for Conservation’. Lauren’s talk focused on her research using Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS) in False Bay, aimed at helping to provide the first comprehensive survey of fish and sharks across all habitats. Lauren inspired the audience with her video footage that showcased the beauty of nature in False Bay. Lauren also spoke of the power of communicating positive messages about conservation work and scientific research through visually appealing photographs and videos.
The Shark Centre held a lucky prize draw during the evening, which was awarded to Gwenith Penry (left). The prize included a Save Our Seas coffee table book and t-shirt.
The talks on Thursday 15 November, are fully booked. Hanli Prinsloo will be speaking about ‘Fear, risk and freedom: freediving in the wild oceans’ while Dr. Eleanor Yeld Hutchings will be talking about ‘Sharing our shoreline’. All talks are being video recorded with the aim of making them available online.
There are a few seats remaining for the talks on 20 November and 28 November. Please email email@example.com to reserve a seat as bookings are essential.