Archive for June, 2009

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.