GANSBAAI, South Africa, 14 September 2018 – Following a demi-decade of hosting a blue initiative called ’21 Days for the Ocean’, this years’ campaign by White Shark Projects has already made a significant impact on the coastline and communities of the Overstrand region in the Western Cape. With eight days to go before the campaign ends, here’s how visitors can play a part.
“Over the past 5-years, this campaign has shown how some of our daily activities, although seemingly innocent, can have a negative impact on the ocean and that by making small changes to our lives, we can make our ocean healthier. At White Shark Projects we believe that education is vital in aiding the conservation of our beautiful marine ecosystem,” says Charmaine Beukes, Managing Director of White Shark Projects.
The ’21 Days for the Ocean’ event runs for 21 consecutive days from the 1st until the 21st September. The idea behind the 21 days is based on research which suggests that it takes 21 days for a person to break a bad habit. This years’ theme ‘21 Messages in a Bottle’ means that for every day of the event, White Shark Projects have set a small challenge for the public to take part in, which they will post on social media. This could be anything from changing your bath products to natural eco-friendly alternatives to saying no to plastic bags at your local supermarket.
So far, the event has seen the following activities being initiated by White Shark Projects:
Day 1 – South African Shark Conservancy (SASC) Fundraiser Event; Day 2 – Movie Night with 6 children from Blommpark; Day 3 – Selfie for the Ocean; Day 4 – Jungle Tots Pre-Primary School visit to the SASC; Day 5 – Cape Town trip for 6 kids from Gansbaai to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium; Day 6 – a first-in-a-lifetime visit for a handful of kids to Table Mountain; Day 7 – Swop Shop Day saw 122 children from Masakhane in Gansbaai collect over 380kg of recyclable litter; Day 8 – handed over a cheque for R30,000 to the South African Shark Conservancy; Day 9 – Adopt a Sharkie saw online fans choose their favourite from a selection of sharks and become it’s adoptive ‘parent’; Day 10 – Photo and Art Exhibit; Day 11 – Visit to the Whale Museum; Day 12 – Swimming with the Whales; Day 13 – Shark Camp with seven lucky kids from Gansbaai; and Day 14 – Step into History talk with public whilst visiting the Old Harbour Museum in Hermanus.
Still coming up, and this is where you can play a part over the next 8-days, are several events which will be posted onWhite Shark Projects’ Facebook page. Below are examples from last years’ event:
Day 15 – Save our Sharks
Pledge to do your bit for the ocean and for the sharks!
Day 16 – Beach Cleanup
Meet up on Mossel river Beach for an all-important beach clean-up.
Day 17 – Cliff path all along the coast
Join White Shark Projects for an educational walk along the cliff paths of Hermanus.
Day 18 – Admiring the Whales from shore
Witness jaw-dropping sightings of breaching Southern Right Whales and clean-up along the way.
Day 19 – Explore Walkerbay on a Kayak
White Shark Projects were invited to join a group from Walker Bay Adventures on a kayaking trip in Walker Bay.
Day 20 – Spreading Awareness
Last year, White Shark Projects decided to drop in at the Boys Home in Kleinmond for an educational visit as part of their blue initiative.
Day 21 – Creating Shark Warriors
Friday the 21st of September is the last day of the 21 Days for the Ocean. As a grand finale to last years’ event, Tamzyn Zweig (The South African Shark Conservancy) and White Shark Projects dropped in at the Hermanus Primary School for an educational visit.
White Shark Projects themselves have taken action and made changes to their company to help prevent further damage to the ocean. Last year the company stopped using plastic water bottles on board their cage diving vessel and replaced them with reusable stainless steel bottles. According to Charmaine Beukes, the company has saved a phenomenal 12,000 plastic water bottles since last year. This year they have stopped giving lollipops with plastic sticks on board the boat and are even changing the snacks from bags of chips to using a popcorn machine.
White Shark Projects encourage everyone in the travel & tourism industry to get involved in the ‘21 Days for the Ocean‘ event and aid marine conservation.
For more information visit www.whitesharkprojects.co.za or following them on social media platforms where they will post daily updates on activities and challenges.