Saldanha Bay has made headlines this week celebrating the terminal ‘s milestone of a billion tons of exports.
Most of South Africa’s iron ore exports pass through the terminal, which has the capacity to stockpile 4.5 million tons of ore of 13 different grades. According to Robert van Rooyen, Saldanha Bay terminal manager, the bulk terminal handles approximately 59 million tons annually, compared to smaller multi-purpose terminals which handle about 7 million tons of iron ore.
“We are delighted with the success of the terminal and commitment that has been shown by the staff and management team, which has seen us go from the terminal’s total handling capacity increasing gradually from 18 million tons per annum in 1976 to where we are today at 60 million tons per annum – an increase of 233 percent.”
It has been a busy week for the South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN), as well as the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI). The organisation was called once again called to action to rescue a whale entangled in fishing rope and flotation buoys off Glencairn. According to the press, SAWDN volunteers, along with members of the NSRI, used disentanglement equipment to free the 7.5m juvenile humpback whale.
According to SAWDN head Michael Meyer the whale appeared to be healthy.
“All indications are that the animal has survived and we are satisfied that the operation has been successful,” said Meyer.
In a separate incident, the NSRI and the South African Stranding Network (SASN) were called to rescue a 2.5m dolphin stranded at Jeffey’s Bay. According to the press the dolphin was successfully returned to the ocean.
These two incidents once again remind us that we need to be mindful of the impact that our marine activities have on the wildlife in our oceans. Fishing ropes and buoys remain a problem, but even the shark nets designed to protect swimmers often result in the deaths of dolphin, turtles and otters that get caught in them.
A balance needs to be found between using our oceans and abusing our oceans.