Ocean News

The Save Our Seas Shark Centre Celebrates World Ocean Day 2008!

5th June 2008

In celebration of World Ocean Day, the recently launched Save Our Seas Shark Centre (SOSSC) will be driving a number of events in False Bay in order to raise awareness. It’s up to each one of us to help ensure that our oceans are protected and conserved for future generations. We therefore invite you to help us make a difference by participating in the following events:

1. Saturday 7th June Event: Long Beach Simonstown Underwater & Beach Cleanup

We invite enthusiastic SCUBA divers who want to give back for a fun-filled morning at the Simonstown Waterfront during which we will clean up the area under and around the jetty. We have the support of the Simonstown Navy and STADCO, who are in charge of the jetty – they are very concerned about the amount of garbage in this area and really need our help!

Bring your friends and family to support you, and if any would like to help clean up a beach we have plenty for them to do – just let us know!

Great Prizes to Win!

Prizes will be awarded for the most rubbish collected AND there will be great prizes hidden amongst the underwater trash, so come on down, get wet and score!

Grand Prize: a dive for you and your buddy in the Shark Exhibit at Two Oceans Aquarium sponsored by Reef Wetsuits and Two Oceans Aquarium.

Other Prizes: include dive accessories sponsored by Reef Wetsuits and Brightweights, and Save Our Seas Foundation tog bags, books and videos.

Bonus! Each participant will receive a SOS Shark Centre T-Shirt and wrist band.

SOSSC thanks our sponsors, Reef Wetsuits, Brightweights and Two Oceans Aquarium for always being there!

Date: Saturday 07 June 2008
Time: Arrive 10.30am – judging will take place at 1.30pm
Venue: The Jetty in front of Berthas restaurant, Simonstown.

Come rain or shine! If it is raining we will still do the ocean clean up so SCUBA divers please pitch – you’re going to get wet in any event!

Confirmation: please contact Guy to confirm your participation by 6th June, Friday 1pm – we need to know numbers and sizes for bonus packs or you might miss out. Contacts: 082 532 9661 or 021 788 4778 between 9am-4pm.

2. Sunday 8th June Event: Living with White Sharks on World Ocean Day

A presentation by Alison Kock, SOSSC Marine Biologist, on Great White Sharks in False Bay will be held on Sunday. The presentation opens with an introduction about World Ocean Day by Lesley Rochat, Manager of SOSSC. After a Q & A session, a screening of a short documentary will conclude the presentation, followed by an optional ‘bring and braai’. Space is limited so booking is essential. Make sure you don’t miss this great opportunity to meet the Save Our Seas Shark Centre team and other fellow ocean supporters!

Date: Sunday 08 June 2008
Time: Presentation begins 4pm sharp! – Braai begins 5.30pm onwards. Soft drinks and salad supplied – bring your own meat, wine etc.
Venue: Save Our Seas Shark Centre Lecture Theatre, 28 Main Road, Kalk Bay
Bookings: Verona Smith 083 261 4297 or 021-788 6694 between 9am-4pm.

Photo: Lesley Rochat, Malaysia

In celebration of World Ocean Day on the 8th of June, the recently launched Save Our Seas Shark Centre (SOSSC) in Kalk Bay, will be driving a number of events in False Bay from the 6th to the 8th June, in order to raise awareness. These include outreach educational trips for children, ocean clean-ups, popular presentations and video screenings.

The concept of World Ocean Day was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Although not yet officially designated by the United Nations, an increasing number of countries mark June 8th as an opportunity each year to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea. This year the SOSSC is committed to proactively assisting in raising the profile of this important event in South Africa.

Photo: Lesley Rochat, Red Sea

“For so many years we have taken our oceans for granted, but there is increasing concern as resources worldwide plummet due to pollution, over-exploitation and climate change”, says Lesley Rochat, Manager of SOSSC, who also heads up the Centre’s awareness projects.

The SOSSC, which is prestigiously positioned in Main Road, Kalk Bay, South Africa, opened its doors to the public on the 15th May. Its focus is on shark education, awareness and research. The Centre’s Chief Scientist, Dr Leonard Compagno, internationally recognized as being one of the world’s top shark scientists, and Alison Kock, a shark researcher, well known for her research on white sharks in False Bay, will direct the scientific research. Positioned in a white shark hotspot of the world, this exciting new development is part of the global expansion of the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF). The SOSF has made significant contributions towards marine conservation through the support of over 72 projects in over 30 countries; it has become synonymous with shark research and conservation through the support of numerous projects in South Africa.

Photo: Lesley Rocha

Photo: Lesley Rocha

“Sharks are considered good bio-indicators of the health of the ocean, and despite their importance in the marine food-chain as apex predators they remain a low conservation priority,” says Kock. “Many species are being driven to the brink of extinction due to overfishing. The loss of sharks will have severe repercussions on the ocean’s ecosystems as everything in nature is connected.”

Unrelenting fishing pressure has decimated 90% of the world’s stock of tuna, marlin, swordfish and sharks. “We are suffering from incredible denial of how bad things really are out there. If current exploitation of the ocean’s resources continues, then scientists predict that the world’s fisheries may be practically gone by 2050,” warns Rochat. “Unless we find new ways to conserve the ocean’s resources, we will run out of them and the survival of many people, as well as animals and plants will be threatened. Time is running out for many species and we must act now.”

World Ocean Day is an opportunity to heighten awareness about these kind of concerns, and promote the importance of conserving our oceans: Over 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by sea – it governs weather and climate, provides food for millions of people, and our precious fresh water sources come from the sea. “The ocean is our life support system – it generates most of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs carbon dioxide”, says Rochat. “It’s up to each one of us to help ensure that our oceans are protected and conserved for future generations.”