The Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Education Centre has recently welcomed the arrival of 7 new sharks! These sharks are proudly on display for all to see, but not in our aquarium. Instead, these beautiful creatures are sculptures that have been erected on the walls around the back of the building.
The sculptures were created by artist Jules Armstrong with each shark having an interesting story of its own. They form part of a collaboration between Sunfish Consulting, Chantal Ely and Armstrong that has turned the back of the centre into a magical underwater scene. Beautiful murals from the paintbrush of Chantal Ely create the illusion that the sharks are swimming in their natural habitats.
The shark sculptures were created using various discarded materials that have been given a new purpose. The puffadder shyshark was made from old wine corks, plastic drinks bottles. The pyjama catshark was made from rubber bike tubes, mountain bike tyres, rubber matting and rubber powder. The broadnose sevengill cowshark was made from plastic bottles and shopping bags, string, discarded fishing ropes and over 7 000 m of fishing line that was recovered from a beach clean-up! The soupfin shark was made from construction rubble sacks, shopping bags, foam off-cuts and old plastic sheeting. The bronze whaler shark was made from CD cases, old cutting mats, plastic containers, bottle caps, yoghurt tubs and food jars that were all found in 2 municipal rubbish bins. Lastly, the two St Joseph sharks were made using 300 old CDs and 100 polyethylene bags.
While it is great that Armstrong was able to give these materials a new purpose by moulding them into something beautiful, it is a sad reminder of just how much junk makes its way to landfill sites on a frequent basis. We hope it will also inspire you to keep taking action to help conserve our oceans and live harmoniously with the natural environment.
The recently-completed exhibit is designed to take our visitors on an immersive aquatic adventure. You will feel like you are exploring the waters of False Bay from the sandy shallows, through the kelp forests to the open ocean. All the while being able to appreciate the bay’s diversity of shark species. We do hope you will visit us soon to enjoy the exhibit.