Plettenberg Bay debuts Ocean Festival and Marine Science Symposium

Posted by Taylah Strauss on 17 June 2022

The Plett Ocean Festival and the Marine Science Symposium will debut at the Beacon Isle Resort from 1 to 10 July and 1 to 3 July respectively. The symposium will be hosted by the Black Mermaid Foundation’s Zandile Nhdlovu.

READ MORE: Meet the first black African freedive instructor, Zandi Ndhlovu in Cape Town

Robberg in Plettenberg Bay. Photo: Lorraine Kearney

The symposium will start with Dr Danielle Conry, who had recently embarked on a study on killer whales on South Africa’s Marion Island. After her talk about killer whales, she will take a deep dive into Keurbooms Estuary, specifically focusing on stingrays.

Gareth Greenwood will then discuss the endangered humpback dolphin, after which Dr Elston will return for a riveting talk on what you can do to contribute to marine science via the ELMO Africa app. All funds raised from this talk will be going to the Plettenberg Bay Orca Foundation.

Dr Anton Wolfaardt will then open a discussion on the conservation of Marion Island’s seabirds. The first day will be concluded by a networking session and an introduction to the Robberg Coastal Corridor Initiative.

The second day of the symposium will kick off with Raggy Charters’ Lloyd Edwards, who will give a presentation on the southern whale migration route. This will be closely followed by a talk on the ecological and social sustainability of boat-based whale-watching by Dr Minke Witteveen.

Guests can look forward to learning more about South Africa’s Marine Protected Areas and marine mammal strandings with Pierre de Villiers and Chanel Hauvette. The day will be concluded with another networking session and a comprehensive history of the Beacon Island Whaling Station.

The final day of the symposium will open with Kuhle Hlati from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries who will be playing sounds of Plettenberg Bay’s marine mammals. Next up is Kyle Smith on the challenges of recreational fishing in the Garden Route, followed by the Strandloper Project with Wilma Swanepoel.

Ndhlovu will then host a presentation on the importance of diverse representation in the ocean, followed by a discussion on Knysna’s estuary with Jessica Seath. The symposium will conclude with an inspirational talk on lessons we can take from our oceans with Susan Swain.

To attend the symposium, book a ticket for either the full three days or one day, or even just one single presentation if you are so inclined. There will also be additional activities and excursions for the remainder of the festival.


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