National Marine Week

Event date: 
2012-10-08 01:00 to 2012-10-12 23:59




Introduction and background

National Marine Week is celebrated every year during the second week of  October. Its purpose is to create awareness on the marine and coastal environment, the promotion of sustainable use and conservation of these resources, for the benefit of all both present and future generations.  As custodian of the marine resources in South Africa, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is the lead driver for National Marine Week.

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"Southern Ocean: It is the small things that count"

The focus is on plankton which plays a key role in marine ecosystems because they form the basis of marine food webs. Plankton are also important in the certain ocean processes, such as, carbon cycling. Research shows that changes in plankton abundance, diversity, and distribution could have cascading effects throughout the ecosystem. It also focuses on the tools, such as the SA Agulhas II, that we use to count the small things that matter. The launch event will be in Durban at uShaka Marine World. 120 stakeholders will be invited to a launch of the week and an address by the Minister and 300 learners will also attend an exhibition of the work that DEA and its stakeholders to in the marine environment.


Invitation to the National Marine Week 2012

Dr M. Mayekiso, DDG: Oceans & Coasts; Department of Environmental Affairs, invites you to the launch of the National Marine Week 2012.


Venue: uShaka Marine World

Date: Monday, 8 October 2012

Time: 10h00

Dress code: smart-casual

Followed by a light lunch.

Essential to RSVP by Wednesday 3 October with Buhle:

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Aim of the 2012 National Marine celebration

The celebrations and observation of this year’s National Marine Week recognise the important role that the oceans surrounding South Africa play in giving life to the country. The campaign therefore seeks to foster a sense of pride in each South African for the beautiful oceans and coasts, celebrating our unique environment and the one-of-a-kind events that occur off our coasts.

The campaign is also intended to raise awareness about the inter-connectivity of our oceans with the rest of inland South Africa. It is important to understand that certain activities, such as, farming, that may seem far removed from ocean issues, but in reality are impacted upon by what happens in the oceans. It is thus important that all South African be aware that:

  • We all rely on healthy oceans with a rich diversity of life to provide our rainfall and many other essentials we require to survive, such as food and oxygen.
  • Oceans through storms and flooding, present a risk that cannot be prevented but can be managed through better planning.
  • Oceans provide endless opportunities recreation to be enjoyed by all of us.
  • That we for these reasons we need to appreciate and conserve them .

Understanding the marine environment and its impact on our country

South Africa enjoys the benefit of a relatively large ocean environment next to its land territory. Technology advancements over the last century have made the ocean much more accessible to people. Annually through the polar research and supply vessel, the SA Agulhas II, DEA undertakes several voyages to the Antarctica and islands in the Southern Oceans. That forms part of efforts to understand the marine environment and its impact on our country. However, while about 70 % of earth’s surface is covered by the ocean, our knowledge of what goes on in the oceans around is still relatively limited. There are mysterious and peculiar creatures and habitats at the oceans depths that must still be discovered and understood. By understanding how these creatures live we can progress in many areas of technology and science.
Understanding the oceans also has another important benefit to countries - Monitoring the ocean and the atmosphere at the appropriate scales, improves our ability to understand the extent of extreme weather and climate events. The country may not be able to stop extreme storms, waves and tsunamis but through understanding the likelihood of where and how they occur, we are better prepared to decrease the damage to property and threat to human life. South Africa’s unique oceans and coasts must be appreciated as an area of global heritage and as a source of national pride and advantage.

The planet’s environment, climate and weather are changing at a faster pace because of how we as people of the earth live. The oceans play an important role in both contributing to the changes in the environment and in also being impacted by these changes. For example, with the oceans taking up so much of the earth’s surface, it must be a big player in regulating the temperature around the whole earth. Understanding that fact is necessary on how our earth works.


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