According to the press last week, existing boat-based whale watching (BBWW) and white shark cage diving (WSCD) operating permits allocated in 2011 will be renewed for a further 12-month period. The Department of Environmental Affairs has stated that this is due to the fact that the allocation process for the permits has been postponed.
A spokesperson for the department said, “The department will, towards the end of the year, commence with the allocation process by inviting applications for BBWW and WSCD operating permits.”
The department added that, as part of Operation Phakisa – Oceans Economy, activities involving non-consumptive use of marine resources are being considered to grow the ocean economy. Boat-based whale watching and white shark cage diving provide South Africa with the opportunity to boost this contribution considerably, leveraging its rich marine resources in a sustainable manner to boost both economic and social development.
The Two Oceans Aquarium was also in the news this week with the introduction of the first fish into its new exhibit at the V&A Waterfront. Commenting on the new I&J exhibit, Two Oceans Aquarium chief executive Michael Farquhar said, ” The opening of this exhibit to the public brings to an end two-and-a-half years of construction and anticipation. As South Africans we are fortunate to live in a country with incredible cultural and biological diversity and our oceans are no exception.”