Turning the Tide on Marine Awareness
- Marine Conservation
Apart from the ocean's physical beauty, it plays an important role in our everyday lives. Occupying roughly 70% of the Earth's surface, it has a critical role in stabilising the earth's atmosphere and climate. It is also home to a wide variety of marine animals, fish and plants, which provide us and other land animals with an important source of food. The ocean is also a source of medicines and other commodities such as diamonds and metal ores.
The fishing industry is particularly important in the Western Cape, where it provides income for small-scale fishermen, and sources of food and income for subsistence fishermen. Larger fishing companies also fish in the surrounding waters of the Western Cape, which contributes to the local economy. The Western Cape also relies on the state of its pristine beaches and coastline to encourage and sustain tourism.
It is because the ocean plays such a critical role as a supplier of many resources that we need to ensure that fishing is sustainable and does not exploit fish stocks, and that our seas and coastlines are free of pollution, which endangers and kills fish, marine birds and mammals, and also threatens the fragile ecosystems and micro-ecosystems of our oceans.
National Marine Week is celebrated in the second week of October. Its purpose is to create awareness about the need to protect our oceans and resources for the benefit of future generations, not just for a week but all year round. You have a direct impact on sustainable fishing, by the demand placed on certain species.
- Find out which species of fish are good to consume, and which fish should not be consumed at all by checking the SASSI list.
- You can also visit your favorite beach with family and friends and start your own beach clean up to help keep the beach in shape.
This year, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Eden District Municipality and the Two Oceans Aquarium have arranged a Marine Week Programme for schools in George. The programme is part of the Oceans in Motion outreach programme, and is aimed at informing learners about the many wonders of the ocean and the need to preserve it.
- View the Marine Week Programme for schools in George.
- South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) (Public Information)