Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot launches
Five Mission Blue Hope Spots will be launched in South Africa in December, among those a Hope Spot on the Cape Whale Coast, in the Hermanus-area. While more than 50 Hope Spots already exist around the world, these are the first to be launched in South Africa. The launch will be attended by Dr Sylvia Earle, the founder of Mission Blue - an ocean community hub.
According to Dr Tony Ribbink, CEO of the Sustainable Seas Trust at the 2014 Fynbos Forum, Hope Spots are special conservation areas that are critical to the health of the ocean. Through networks of Hope Spots, it's hoped to bring caring communities together, in order to reach those who still need to be converted as to the importance of healthy seas. "Hope Spots provide opportunities for all to do their bit for the ocean, by harnessing the power of the people."
Statistics suggest that 3.85 tonnes of fish are taken out of the ocean every single second, right 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. Dr Ribbink said that consumers must ask whether the fish they are eating are essential for food security. "Food security does not depend on sushi."
Dr Earle, a TED Award winner and National Geographic Explorer in Residence, will attend the launches of some of the South African Hope Spots. Hope Spots will be started at Aliwal Shoal in KwaZulu-Natal, Algoa Bay, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and the Cape Whale Coast.
The 2014 Fynbos Forum is being held in Knysna. The theme for this year is 'Forests and Fynbos'. The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative is represented at the forum.