A whale stranding training session presented in partnership with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the City of Cape Town has made headlines this week.
On Saturday 28 May, 90 members of the South African Stranding Network (SASN) attended a three-hour training session at the NSRI Strandfontein beach rescue centre. The session allowed for the practicing of rescue procedures for stranded cetaceans, adopted under a National Response Plan developed by the SASN and co-ordinated by the DEA, using two life-like model whales.
It is intended that these training sessions will become an annual event to ensure that the appropriate infrastructure, manpower and expertise are available to respond to any stranding situation at short notice.
The Two Oceans Aquarium was also in the news this week with the announcement that it will be releasing the last two of its ragged-tooth sharks near East London this week.
The sharks formed part of the I&J Predator Exhibition which will be closing for repairs in mid-June, with plans to replace it with a newer and larger one. The sharks will be removed from the aquarium with the use of a PVC cone and then moved into a 6,000 litre holding tank on the back of a truck for the journey to East London.
Sharks have been released from the aquarium since 2004. According to operations manager, Tinus Beukes, all released sharks are fitted with transmitters allowing the aquarium to receive data from these released sharks for a period of up to 10 years.