The False Bay Shark Spotters have made headlines this week with their appeal to the public to support the organisation’s crowd-funding platform, BackaBuddy.
A large part of the Shark Spotters portfolio is looking for sharks in the water using binoculars. The organisation needs 35 new pairs of binoculars at a cost of R60,000 and so the BackaBuddy campaign was launched. An amount of R34,260 has already been raised.
“Sharks are not easy to spot, unlike whales and dolphins, we rarely see their dorsal fin or other body parts above water, which is why we need increased visibility.
“The binoculars that we have are dated and most are in a state of disrepair. We hope the public will support our BackaBuddy campaign to empower us to keep our waters safe,” said Sarah Waries, chief executive of Shark Spotters.
False bay has the second largest number of white sharks in the world and the largest number of species. The balance between conservation and safety is therefore imperative. For the past 14 years Shark Spotters have been instrumental in finding that balance.
“Conserving large, predatory sharks, which are sometimes in conflict with people, is a major conservation challenge, because fear can stop people from supporting their conservation.
“To ensure the balance between great white shark conservation and public safety it is imperative that we have a strong scientific foundation on white shark ecology, coupled with non-lethal mitigation methods and supported by comprehensive education and awareness strategy,” says Waries.
For more information visit: www.backabuddy.co.za/spotters-binocular-fund
Almost a year after the finalising of a forensic report alleging fraud by several high ranking fisheries officials, these same officials are still in their posts within the department.
According to the press, the report was conducted by forensic specialists The iFirm after a botched state abalone deal in 2016. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana said at the time that legal action was being considered. The minister himself, however, now faces a report into his own conduct compiled by the National Health Education and Allied Workers Union, alleging nepotism, mismanagement and sexual favours, and calling for his immediate removal; and the officials still remain at the department.
In response Minister Zokwana’s office has said that a team had been set up to address these concerns.
In more positive news a four-year-old environmentalist has made headlines this week after she managed to collect more than 14 cubic metres of recycled plastic over the last month.
Jenny Kenyon from Cape Town is on a campaign to shine a light on the dangers faced by penguins and turtles, as well as the environment, as a result of plastic bags.
Jenny’s crusade began after a visit to the Two Ocean Aquarium where she learnt that a turtle had eaten plastic from the ocean.
“She started out by telling her friends why straws and balloons were harming marine life,” says Jenny’s mother, Kath Kenyon.
Jenny started collecting plastic in March. “ I like collecting plastic so the penguins don’t get sick,” said Jenny.
Surely we can all learn a lesson from a four-year old who is not only capable of understanding the dangers of plastic pollution to our oceans, but is also willing and able to start to do something about it.