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June 2013

SAAMBR: Investigate - Connect - Empower

in this issue

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Ocean action – Six Million Steps featured sidebar image Grant Christie (centre) of Six Million Steps surrounded by uShaka Sea World staff

SAAMBR was privileged to host Grant Christie, who is on a solo expedition to walk the entire length of the South African coastline for a project he calls Six Million Steps. Aged 28, Grant began his epic solo expedition on 17 October 2013 to raise awareness of the marine environment and the current threats facing the delicate and intricate marine web of life at the Orange River mouth. Read more...

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Species spotlight – hermit crab featured sidebar image Giant spotted hermit crab

This species is identifiable by its red-to-orange colour and numerous black-ringed white spots. It lives on shallow underwater reefs and sandbanks in discarded gastropod shells. Read more...

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uShaka Marine World promotion featured sidebar image

Conservation communication

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Oceans cover more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface and are home to more than 1.98-million known plant and animal species. 

Sadly, our marine biodiversity faces numerous threats, of which overfishing, chemical and nutrient pollution, invasive species and global climate change are the most serious.

As individuals we all have a part to play in minimising these threats by becoming more environmentally conscious and choosing SASSI-approved fish, recycling, disposing of our plastics through the correct channels and limiting our use of energy from natural resources. 

Monitoring our coastal invertebrates

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Holidaymaker Garth Winfield examines brown mussels

In KwaZulu-Natal alone, between 10 000 and 11 000 people buy permits to collect mussels, crayfish, oysters and other shellfish each year. This could potentially have a large impact on our coastal resources.

The most popular coastal invertebrates collected in KwaZulu-Natal are brown mussels. The filter-feeding brown mussel is an integral component of the rocky shore ecosystem.

The filter-feeding brown mussel is an integral component of the rocky shore ecosystem. It forms extensive beds on rocky reefs which provide a habitat for many other organisms such as marine worms, snails, crabs and shrimps. Read more...

Leatherback turtle released in home territory

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The juvenile leatherback turtle, ready for release in the Mozambique current off Durban

When uShaka Sea World staff received a call on 21 April from staff at Two Oceans Aquarium, informing us that they were flying a juvenile leatherback turtle to Durban the following day, we were eager to assist as this was to be the first leatherback entrusted to our care.

The young turtle was found washed up on a beach in the Cape and immediately taken to the Two Oceans Aquarium. There were no visible signs of trauma or physical limitations, so precautionary antibiotics were administered and immediate plans were made to fly the turtle to Durban in preparation for his return to the ocean. Read more...

uShaka Sea World welcomes millionth learner

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Jone Porter, director of education at uShaka Sea World; Mbali Sifold, the millionth learner to visit uShaka Sea World; and Emma Chiliza, senior booking coordinator

When teachers and learners from Kokstad Senior Primary School arrived at uShaka Sea World on 16 April 2014, they had no idea that among them was the millionth learner to visit Durban’s most well-known attraction.

As the excited learners entered the Education Centre at uShaka Sea World, director Jone Porter was carefully counting heads, and as Mbali Sifold (10) passed through the doorway, she was officially conferred with the title and draped with a sash proclaiming her new status. Read more...

Learners make a splash with recycling project

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Oscar Tshabalala, Ansuar Ntakirutmana, George Mutombo, John Bartlett and Felix Mudzinganwama with their recycled animals

More than 400 learners in Grades 4 and 5 at Addington Primary School put their creativity and environmental awareness skills to the test on 24 June 2014 to fashion an assortment of handmade marine creatures, which competed in a race.

The challenge presented by uShaka Sea World educator Heidi Killian was to make a marine animal using discarded plastic items that would float in the Wet 'n Wild Adventure River at uShaka Marine. Read more...

New attraction for Treasure Chest exhibit

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Karen and Ella Powell view the tiny glass shrimps with marine educator Anita Shelembe

uShaka Sea World's Treasure Chest exhibit now features hundreds of tiny glass shrimps (Paelemon peringueyi) that will nibble on your fingers if you let them. You'll find them among the sharks' teeth and hermit crabs.

Shrimps are a group of crustaceans with elongated bodies and fragile legs used for swimming and perching. There are thousands of shrimp species, each of which plays an important role in the food chain. Read more...