Worldwide Marine Month is celebrated every October and the theme for 2020 is: “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean”. In South Africa we use this time to create awareness of our marine and coastal environment and the benefit that our oceans bring for the livelihood of our nation. The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) in Gansbaai partnered to host an informative event with a marine excursion with a local high school, Gansbaai Academia. Gansbaai Academia is fortunate to be one of the three schools in the Western Cape to offer Marine Science as a Curriculum subject and has been part of the previous annual Marine Month Programmes. Thirty learners on the Marine Science programme were invited from Gansbaai Academia and joined by DICT’s Environmental Education Programme known as DEEP, to participate in this event. Learners had the opportunity to learn about different marine careers and participate in various data collection activities.
The programme included hands-on activities such as rocky shore exploration to record species, a beach clean-up (to document the debris found on our beach) and marine career exhibitions. Other partners who supported and exhibited at the event included: CapeNature, NSRI Hermanus, HIK Abalone, I& J and Gansbaai Tourism.
DICT educator Pinkey Ngewu said, “The event created an interactive platform in nature among learners and stakeholders and raised awareness about South Africa’s marine and coastal environments and the importance of the oceans to life on earth, as well as providing learners with career information on the marine and maritime sector that they can use to support their future decision making.”