The major impact of the Two Oceans Aquarium as a national treasure is quite evident, but today I would like to highlight the other impacts that the Aquarium has on people, as it has grown its involvement in the conservation of our oceans.
The Aquarium itself hosts the most extraordinary pieces of living art: A consortium of corals, schools of tropical fish, smacks of jellies, shoals of pelagic fish, waddles of penguins, and rehabilitated turtles and roaming ragged-tooth sharks.
I never knew a time before television, technology or even the internet. You must be thinking: where on earth does this existential piece fit into the aquarium puzzle? Well, I have also never known a time where the Two Oceans Aquarium has not existed. Their firm foundation has far exceeded the physical doors that we enter to view the magnificent masterpieces of the ocean.
The I&J Predator Exhibit at the Two Oceans Aquarium (Image credit: Two Oceans Aquarium)
The establishment of the Aquarium Foundation, their non-profit partner, has allowed the legacy of the Aquarium to continue. The legacy that evokes so much appreciation and love for the ocean so that you want to spend time in nature, and to learn about the animals. They also make you want conserve the ocean, because it is a miracle on display. That is the impact the online Marine BioBasics course has had on me.
The e-learning platform, through which some of the learning takes place, has a fantastic format. The study material is extremely comprehensive with meticulously detailed information and notes. The teachers present through Zoom sessions twice a week, providing delightful insights into our coastal inhabitants. Content includes videos of kelp forest dives, the famous creatures that are currently inhabiting the exhibits at the Aquarium, and the ones that have been released (I see you, Yoshi). My recommendation for anyone considering doing a course with the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation is a wholehearted yes. It is an incredible experience – through and through – worth its salt.
Live presentations for our online courses take place over Zoom.
The turtle rehabilitation facility and the education work are all projects that we, as the public, can contribute to. Our support, by subscribing to the Foundation Crew membership and completing online courses, extends directly towards the conservation of the ocean. It is through the hard work of the Aquarium Foundation that single-use plastic problems are solved, animals get saved and future courses that inspire conservation are created.
I am grateful for the teachers and staff that make the experience unforgettable.
From a place of great love,
Chloë van Deventer
Learning to swim is empowering – especially for women who want to work in the ocean community! Having the confidence to explore the water, feeling safe when in a boat, or simply having access to swimming as a recreational activity are things that many take for granted. A number of the incredible women at the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation took the step of learning to swim with Swimmable – taking their first steps into this new way of exploring the world (and making their first splashes in the water of the Aquarium’s I&J Ocean Exhibit).
On 14 July 2021, a loggerhead turtle entangled in ghost-netting was in dire need of intervention and was rescued on the beach in Gansbaai. Through the Turtle Network, this adult, stranded, cold-stunned sea turtle arrived at the Two Oceans Aquarium & was received by the turtle rehab team. This turtle was surprisingly strong during admittance into hospital; lifting her head, resisting restraint & also presented with no external injuries needing immediate intervention.
Hoodwinker sunfish were only recently discovered in 2017, after hiding in plain sight amongst the more commonly known 𝘔𝘰𝘭𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘭𝘢. So, when one of these rare animals was found washed up near Gansbaai, scientists from Dyer Island Conservation Trust and the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation were alerted and eager to work together to learn more about one of our ocean’s most unusual creatures.