Marine Evening: Turtle Talk

August 31, 2016 Meredith Thornton

At the latest Marine Evening held by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, the Great White House had a full house of conservation-minded people gathered to listen to fascinating stories and information shared with us by Maryke Musson, curator of the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town.

Maryke’s relationship with the Aquarium goes back as far as 1993 when she was involved as a young student during the building of their beautiful displays.  Then, 22 years later, she joined their ranks again to lead a team of dedicated ocean-lovers to Explore, Experience and Engage, as their motto states. Maryke came to tell us all about their turtle rehabilitation programme and how it forms part of their vision to inspire people to care about the ocean and to make changes that lead to living sustainably. They were instrumental in rehabilitating more than 200 turtles last year!  Without their help these animals would almost certainly have died of hypothermia and the effects of plastic ingestion.

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Direct impacts of oil spill in Eastern Cape but this is only tip of the ice berg...

August 30, 2016 Anwynn Louw

The visuals of oiled African penguins is always enough to generate an emotional response of outrage and sadness. The amazing work done by the NGO's in the field of penguin & seabird rescue are highlighted. But behind these images and sheer commitment of getting the birds cleaned up and returned to the wild lies the bigger impact.

We know, through years of research, that rehabilitation works and that it is vital to return every possible bird back to the wild if we want to save the endangered African penguin from extinction. 
But the long term effect of an oil spill will inevitably have an impact, not only on the African penguin & other seabird species.

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Deceased white shark at Danger Point 7 August 2016

August 08, 2016 Brenda du Toit

A great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) was spotted floating just offshore of Kruismansbaai, Danger Point in the late morning of Sunday the 7th of August. On arriving at the scene the Dyer Island Conservation Trust’s (DICT) research team met local shark boat skipper Phillip Colyn and other volunteers from White Shark Diving Company who had been trying to revive the shark. One last attempt was made by the team to irrigate the shark’s gills by wading with it in waist deep water but unfortunately despite all efforts the shark died. The shark was then taken to the nearest sandy beach, wrapped in fishing net and loaded onto the Trust’s marine stranding bakkie.

After communication with the Department of Environmental Affairs officials, the decision was made to bring the shark carcass back to the International Marine Volunteer (IMV) facility in Kleinbaai. The following day, DEA scientists collected the white shark and took it to be stored for dissection by the White Shark Research Group (WSRG) and government scientists within the next week. The Trust’s enviro kids club were able to see the shark before it was collected and assisted in taking external measurements which was a very unique and educational opportunity for them.

“Local members of the community assisted with the loading of the shark which was much appreciated as the weight of this shark could be around 170kgs,” said Alison Towner from DICT. “As is always the case with this iconic species, many people have opinions on the matter, but the national scientists and government will perform the dissection and look for reasons behind the mortality. For now, the cause of mortality is unknown. The external examination revealed that the shark had no obvious injuries or fishing gear apparent. The stomach was however very bloated. We can confirm the shark was a 2,7m (total length) adolescent male” said Towner.

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