Our neighbourhood’s ocean warriors

World Oceans Day may have passed on 8 June, but we’re seeing the entire month as a chance to share ideas on how we can take better care of our open waters and marine life. Our family of ocean-lovers is doing its thing to promote healthy ocean activism. The Two Oceans Aquarium, Sealand and Superyacht Training Academy have shared some insights to help you along.

How does your work protect the oceans?
Superyacht Training Academy: We train crew to work on marine vessels. Part of the international training requirement is to educate students on protection of the oceans by preventing and minimising pollution from ships, and process steps covering toxic waste, spillage, sewerage and garbage.

Two Oceans Aquarium: With the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation, we work with marine wildlife in the V&A Waterfront through the Marine Wildlife Management Programme. We are involved with Cape fur seal rescue and disentanglement, monitoring of sea birds (and rescue if necessary), sunfish rescues and research, monitoring of Cape clawless otters, and generally ensuring the well-being and welfare of marine wildlife. Our aim is to create a neighbourhood where humans and wildlife can live together harmoniously, where the ocean is cared for by all who work, live and play at the Waterfront. Together with the Waterfront we are busy developing an educational marine wildlife walk.

Sealand: Our process of upcycling, as well as our focus on using recycled materials, ensures not only a reduction of material sent to landfill but also a reduction in the consumption of virgin materials. This is an important activity in the circular economy as it reduces waste leakage into nature and has a direct impact on reducing environmental harm to our oceans.

Why is World Oceans Month important to you?
Superyacht Training Academy: We regard the oceans as one of the most under-protected resources. We are only now starting to discover what they are about and what they provide to the sustainability of the planet. Without oceans and ocean life, our world will discontinue as it is and most likely die off..

Two Oceans Aquarium: Essentially every day is World Oceans Day at the Two Oceans Aquarium! However, this month is important as it gives us an opportunity to increase awareness of the ocean and the critical role it plays in our survival. It helps when the ocean is given additional attention by non-ocean-related entities.

Sealand: As avid surfers and outdoor enthusiasts, each of us on the Sealand team has a deep appreciation for the ocean’s rich biodiversity. World Oceans Month encourages action and helps raise awareness for the urgent need for change to protect our oceans and natural spaces, and make responsible decisions around how we live, consume and produce.

How can the public get involved with the work you are doing?
Superyacht Training Academy: Our current drive is to include training programmes for previously disadvantage students for the public sector and to bring them into training programmes for commercial marine services.

Two Oceans Aquarium: Sign up for the marine education programmes offered by the Aquarium Foundation – both online and in person – or join our volunteer training programme so that you can share your knowledge with our visitors. Else join one of our beach clean-ups or donate to the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation so that it can continue its critical work in education, conservation and research.

Sealand: Since our first stitch, Sealand has chosen to resist the unsustainable levels of production and high levels of consumption that underpin most of the businesses in the apparel and fashion space. By supporting us, you become part of our commitment to slow fashion.

Are you doing anything special to mark this month?
Two Oceans Aquarium: On our online platforms, staff will be sharing ideas about what people can do to protect the ocean. Their tips will focus on choosing sustainable seafood, refusing single-use plastic, recycling, calling on our governments to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030, and more. We are also encouraging people to adopt the rescued turtle hatchlings in our care. They were stranded on beaches around the Western Cape and require rehabilitation so that they can be released back into the ocean strong and healthy. It costs in the region of R8,000 to rehabilitate one hatchling turtle.

Sealand: For every R2,000 that a customer spends at Sealand, we handmake an upcycled bag for GIVE, which is Sealand’s community initiative. In celebration of World Oceans Month, we are donating our next round of 100 GIVE bags in partnership with Sentinel Ocean Alliance, to assist with the ocean-based opportunities it facilitates for the youth of Hout Bay, teaching them basic ocean and environmental skills.

What’s one tip you like to give people about something they can change in their everyday habits to help save the oceans?
Superyacht Training Academy: Awareness! Just be aware of what we are doing to the oceans and how you can change this. Dumping things into the ocean doesn’t mean they go away. Highlighting incidents of potential fracking for oil, plastic pollution, oil spillages and massive human waste in the oceans can bring change.

Two Oceans Aquarium: Become conscious that every second breath we take comes from the ocean. Our health and very existence depends on the health of the ocean. You can also reconsider you diet and opt to eat more plant-based food. This helps reduce carbon emissions and contributes to reducing ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures, both of which are having a negative impact on marine life and the overall health of the ocean – which in turn impacts on us.

Sealand: Repair rather than replace. Extending the lifespan of your garments, gear, furniture, appliances and the everyday items you use helps reduce the quantity of virgin products produced as well as the waste sent to landfill.

Thank you to the Two Oceans Aquarium’s Conservation & Sustainability Manager
Helen Lockhart, Superyacht Training Academy’s CEO Brett Nussey and Sealand’s Marketing Operations Manager Jamie Elliott for sharing their love of the ocean.