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
Claudine van Zyl completed her Work Imtegrated Learning (WIL) internship with us last year. Her research project was: ‘The characterisation of plastics in stranded post-hatchling loggerhead turtles along the South African coastline from 2015 to 2020’.
Bob, a green turtle in our care, has been with us since November 2014. While he is not ready for release yet, we are preparing him so that he has the best chance of survival back in the big blue. Alex Panagiotou, one of our turtle team specialists, is working with Bob through enrichment programmes and research.
Grant Blakeway completed the 2020 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge by solo rowing 4 800 km across the Atlantic. He did this to highlight the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean.