Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot launches in December
The Cape Whale Coast will be officially launched as a Mission Blue Hope Spot on 6 December 2014. Dr Sylvia Earle, world-renowned National Geographic Explorer and TED Award Winner, will attend the launch in Hermanus.
The Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot is one of six Hope Spots to be launched in South Africa in December. Hope Spots are special conservation areas, providing conservation status to the ocean. Globally around only three percent of the ocean enjoys any formal protection, versus 12 percent on the land.
The Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot will stretch from Rooi Els to Quoin Point. The other Hope Spots are Aliwal Shoal in KwaZulu-Natal, Algoa Bay, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and False Bay. The launches start with a gala event in Cape Town on 4 December.
For the launch in Hermanus, a Cape Whale Coast dive will be undertaken, with divers, including Dr Earle, to interact with audiences from underwater. Hermanus will also host an Eco-Marine Village, with the theme ‘Catchment to Coast conservation’. The launch takes place over 6 and 7 December.
While there are around 50 Hope Spots globally, these six Hope Spots along the coast of South Africa will be the first to be recognised in the country.
According to statistics, around 3.85 tonnes of fish are taken out of the ocean every single second, throughout the year. Only 3.2 percent of crayfish are left around South Africa's shores from the original population, while only two percent of African Penguins are left. And only between two and seven percent of tuna and other related fish species are left in the world today. The idea of Hope Spots were first developed by Dr Earle, to encourage healthier oceans and growing public awareness for sustainable seas.