SANCCOB Fund Raiser Weekend – Boulders Beach ~ Masked Ball

October 26, 2009

White Shark Ecoventures again participated in the annual Sanccob Fund Raiser hosted at Boulders Beach, where they sponsored prizes to the value of R8500.00 to be auctioned off in aid of penguin rehabilitation.

This fund raiser was extremely successful, where a substantial amount of money was raised for the ongoing rehabilitation and preservation of the African Penguin, which has been classified an endangered specie since there are only 25000 breeding pairs left along the South African coast line.

On Sunady the 27th of Sept., White Shark Ecoventures also participated in the Sanccob childrens environmental and educational day, in order to create awareness amongst our youth with regard to all marine birds.  A Green Marine Kayak day was also hosted where all entrant fees were donated to Sanccob.

White Shark Ecoventures have been honoured to once again participate in this annual event and will continue to do so in the future.

Paul Fisher Benefit Evening – Spier Wine Estate

September 8, 2009

White Shark Ecoventures were proud sponsers of the above event for quadriplegic Paul Fisher, held on the 27the of June 2009. This event was hosted at the prestigous Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch and our contribution helped raise over R120 000.00.

Below is the thank you letter received from Paul Fisher’s wife;

“We wish to thank White Shark Ecoventures (Pty) Ltd. for their involvement and contribution, which helped raise over R120K on the auction items. Michelle Smuts and an assistant came along and, in addition to the sponsored prizes, also did a great job in sponsoring welcoming drinks – which was immensley enjoyed by all. Michelle and her colleague worked tirelessly in making this a truely wonderful event so, which was so enjoyed by all that we invited them to stay and enjoy the evening with us. We all had great fun!

Paul and I are extremely grateful for the efforts you made in making a huge difference to his life. We are overwhelmed by the willingness and generosity displayed by people like you. This will also go a long way to helping us achieve the second part of our vision, which is to start a half-way home. This home will enable families with older disabled children, the opportunity to send their children on a 2 or 3 week break-away period, to a place where they know their loved ones are cared for in a safe environment. There are very few such facilities available to family’s with disabled adult children and families making use of this facility would help sustain this venture.”

YOUTH DAY – 16 JUNE

August 17, 2009

Youth Day – 16 June

Youth Day in South Africa commemorates the start of the Soweto riots in Johannesburg in 1976, initially sparked by a government edict that all black schools would be taught the Afrikaans language. This sparked a protest march and in the wake of the clashes with police, the violence that ensued during the next few weeks were so severe that many properties were destroyed and many people killed.

Among those killed was Hector Pieterson, a black school child who was shot by the police.  This brought home to many people within and outside South Africa, the brutalities of the Apartheid regime. The issue however, was not so much the Afrikaans as the whole system of Bantu education which was characterised by separate schools and universities, poor facilities, overcrowded classrooms and inadequately trained teachers.

White Shark Ecoventures celebrated this day by taking youths of our local underprivileged community of Blompark (based in Gansbaai) to an outing at the popular Two Ocean Aquarium in the V & A Waterfront, a two hour drive from their home town.  For many kids this was the first time they had ever been away from their homes and also the first time they have ever visited the big city of Cape Town.

White Shark Ecoventures Tour Guide, Wiehann Myburgh, had great fun with the kids while teaching them about the various different species of sharks as well as fish at the Aquarium.  They were treated to a tasty lunch, drinks and ice cream, before they were transported back to Gansbaai later that day.  A 22-seater luxury bus and driver was also sponsored by the company.

~ Educating our youth for a sustainable future ~  (Directors – White Shark Ecoventures)

WSE adopts an Eastern Cape African Penguin

August 3, 2009

Eastern Cape African Penguin

Directors of  White Shark Ecoventures have just returned from a visit to the Eastern Cape Penguin Rescue Centre situated at Seal Point Lighthouse, Cape St. Francis, situated approx. 100km from Port Elizabeth.  Directors have been involved in penguin rehabilitation for over 15 years and Mariette Hopley played in integral part in the first major oil spill to hit South Africa in 1994 (Apollo Sea), followed by the Cordigliera and then even more catastrophic Treasure oil spill in 2001.

Over the past years she was also invited to various International Conferences to share her knowledge and expertize to assist with future rescues.  To offer her assistance in this regard was also the reason for her visit to the Eastern Cape Penguin Rescue Centre at Cape St. Francis.  Read more on the rehab centre at http://www.penguin-rescue.org.za/

In addition to the above, White Shark Ecoventures have also made a donation to the centre by adopting the smallest of over 100 penguins called “FAIRY”.  Fairy is so tiny and was in such a frail state when she was picked up on the beach, that she did not even weigh 1 kg!  Today, a few days later, she weighs in at a healty 1.2kg.

The Penguin Rescue Centre is situated at Seal Point lighthouse,  home to the tallest masonry building, standing 27.75 meters high. The focal plane is 36 meters above sea level and the light has a range of 28 sea miles.  Joseph Flack, a civil Engineer and architect who was employed by the Cape Colonial Government at the time, was instrumental in building this majestic building and was also involved in building Robben Island where the famous Nelson Mandela was improsoned during the Apartheid years.

Rescue of stranded Arctic Seal – Eastern Cape

A very rare Arctic Seal pup was found in our waters, more than 6000 kms away from its home – the Arctic waters of the Bering Sea.   It was found on the beach in a state of complete exaustion and de-hydration and was barely breathing.  It was immedaitely taken to the Eastern Cape Penguin Rescue Centre for rehabilitation where it is slowly recovering in the hands of experts.

How this little fella managed to get stranded on one of our beaches is a complete mystery that baffles most bird specialists.   According to a reports, thousands of seal pups have already drowned during the winter rearing season, after slipping off melting and cracked ice in the Arctic Bering Sea.  It has also been reported in 2007 that the “near absence” of ringed seal pups in the Bering Sea is a sure sign that should the current trend of greenhouse-gas emissions continue, all ice-dependent animals will face a grim future and may even face extinction.

Business Women of the Year 2009

July 27, 2009

Business Woman of the year Entrepreneurship Award

Each year Nedbank nominate certain candidates to participate in an event to honor the many remarkable women whose achievements in business have served to elevate the true spirit of proudly South African, within their local economy and South Africa.

The three categories for nominations for 2009 were Social Entrepreneurs, Emerging Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurs.

The Managing Director of White Shark Ecoventures, Mariette Hopley, was nominated in the Entrepreneur Category, where she was chosen as a finalist.  The gala evening took place on 18 June 2009 when the awards were handed over.

We hereby wish to congratulate Mariette on this fantastic achievement.

Included in photos above;

Mariette Hopley (MD – White Shark Ecoventures)

Cindy Thornhill (CEO – White Shark Ecoventures)

Gerry Rantselli

New Shark Diving Image – Feeding Time

July 22, 2009

http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitesharkecoventures/3728360637/

Another one of our images from the archives which has been posted to our Flickr account for all to enjoy – if you want to experience the thrill of shark cage diving in South Africa then please visit our site for more information, its an experience you will never forget: http://www.white-shark-diving.com

Sea Shepherd International

July 14, 2009

Sea Shepherd International is a world wide organisation that campaigns against cruelty to all animals in the ocean. Their facebook group states;

This is a group for people who are outraged by the inhumane acts of whaling, shark finning, long-lining, seal clubbing, dolphin slaughtering, or any other kind of ocean inhabitant destruction.

Please join this group to show your support!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2235468991

World Environment Day 2009

July 7, 2009

World Environment Day;

Global warming and climate change are two of the biggest and most pressing issues facing our planet today.  The 5th of June 2009 is World Environment Day and again, like so many years before, White Shark Ecoventure’s crew and staff took notice of the burning issues affecting our planet and in support of this great cause, contributed by adapting our life-styles at home and at work, as listed below.

We urge you to also make a difference in your work and home environment, in an effort to save our planet.  Even the smallest change can make a big difference.

White Shark Ecoventures also make use of only natural and bio-degradable products, when conducting our daily tours out at sea.

How we are making a difference and how you can also contribute;

  1. Switch from incandescent bulbs to LED or Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL) bulbs;
  2. Turn of the lights when you leave the room;
  3. Only plant indigenous plants in your garden and remove alien invaders;
  4. Keep a separate rubbish bin for biodegradable foods so you can make your own compost heap.  This will save you money, improve your garden soil and most importantly, help the environment;
  5. Recycle all glass containers, big or small;
  6. Whether it is at your office or at your child’s school, encourage others to participate in recycling activities;
  7. Keep a separate dustbin for recyclable glass.  This way you can make a weekly trip to the closest glass recycling bank;
  8. Do not pour water down the drain if it can be used for other purposes like watering your garden;
  9. Turn of the tap while brushing your teeth or washing the dishes;
  10. Do not boil a full kettle if you only need one or two cups of boiling water.  Not only will this save water, but is also uses less electricity;

Make this part of your way of living and join us to protect our planet. Your contribution can make a huge difference!

First African Penguin Spotted Back In Namibia

June 22, 2009

It was a pink spot day on Mercury Island when a Namibian conservationist spotted the first African penguin back home after a recent 4-week stint of rehabilitated at SANCCOB.

On the 8th June, just 18 days after their release from Derdesteen Beach in Cape Town the first of a group of 129 penguins, which have been successfully rehabilitated at SANCCOB, was seen back at its original breeding colony of Mercury Island.

After his release from Derdesteen Beach, he was spotted on Robben Island on 25 May (4 days after being released from Derdesteen Beach). With this confirmed sighting on 25 May, this would mean that his actual swimming time was a fantastic 14 days!

At a total distance of 1019km, he averaged 72.7km per day!

So, if you play the lotto, you may want to remember the lucky numbers A10885 because that’s the tenacious little tike that won the race to get back home.

As with all collectives of animals one immediately stood out as the feistiest and was immediately dubbed ‘Black Angus’ as it fought its way through rehab, pecking the handlers randomly and generally taking charge.
Weighing in at 2,8kg on admittance, which is a respectable weight for a penguin and put him ahead in the weight-class of his fellow refugees, he pretty much doubled his weight as he ate his way through prime Sardine a la SANCCOB, to finally weigh in at 4.1kg on his release.

Of course it was he who strode out ahead of the group at the beach release, and first to take to the waters. And follows that he had to be the one to win the long swim home, to strike familiar soil shore and to announce triumphantly to his fellow Mercurians “Black Angus is back!’.

SANCCOB thanks all readers, listeners and volunteers who have followed the story of the 129 African penguins oiled off the coast of Luderitz as well as helped us with “Getting our birds back on their feet.”

Should you wish to donate to SANCCOB or to Adopt one of these penguins, please contact SANCCOB at +27 21 557 6155 or visit the adopt a penguin area of the SANCCOB website.

Weekly Shark Update 15/06/2009

June 15, 2009

World Oceans Day – 8 JUNE 2009 – Visit from minister:

In celebration of World Oceans Day where the focus was on the plight of sharks, White Shark Ecoventures hosted a visit from Minister Sonjica  (Water & Environmental  Affairs),  Marine & Coastal Management (MCM) senior officials, various scientists  and  the media.  These persons were taken out on our boat, Megalodon II, and participated in scientific tagging from our boat, as well as cage diving.

South Africa was the first country to provide protected status for the great white shark.  Mr. Mike Meyer, an MCM marine researcher and technician with 30 years experience, presented an overview of the importance of sharks (both commercially and environmentally) and their role in the ecosystem.  He went on by explaining that shark populations and their movements are monitored through photographic identification where the dorsal fin with all its unique scar markings, is a key identification feature.  A computerized and automated ID system is also a new innovation currently being used.  Genetic sampling is also gathered through a biopsy probe and tracking devices such as acoustic and real-time satellite tags, which also assist researchers to continue their endless study of the oceans apex predators.

It was an honour for White Shark Ecoventures to be an integral part of this great cause.

Minister Visit


Participation in beach clean up;

In addition, White Shark Ecoventures in a joint effort with Sharklady Adventures, participated in a beach clean-up which involved 100 children from the local schools.  The children attended an educational talk on pollution and it’s effects on marine life and prizes were sponsored to the children who collected the most rubbish along the coastline.  Each child also received an educational work-book on “Life in our Oceans”, hot dogs and cold drinks.


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