This story is about a group of remarkable people who have committed to saving the seabed and its diversity for posterity, specifically the Kelp Forest off Simonstown on the Cape Peninsula. The organisation that led me to this story was the The Sea Change Trust. (www.seachangeproject.com)
Its website presents its case for conservation through the most beautiful images of the secret underwater world in the Kelp Forest near Simonstown on the Cape Peninsula. Having spent a few days with the team, and interviewed their co-founder, veteran film-maker Craig Foster, I was absorbed both by the skin-tingling experience of snorkelling, without a wetsuit, in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean as well as the importance of learning the value of bio-diversity through observing and witnessing sea-life. Craig’s commitment to dive every day, and to track the marine life on the coast is infectious. His desire to share this passion should alert more people to the need for drastic conservation practices on our oft neglected coastal doorstep.
Already, the Sea Change Trust has started to build relationships with scientists who are working on mapping the sea bed for the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) in order to preserve the special spaces under the sea. Craig has taught a group how to snorkel and is teaching them to track marine life underwater, creating even greater excitement around their conservation goals. Loyiso Dunga, Luther Adams and Sizo Sibandla work with the indefatigable Dr Kerry Sink, the SANBI scientist evaluating the diversity of South Africa’s sea-bed by mapping its topography. It is partly the fruits of this research that prompted the South African Government to extend its protection of the sea-bed within its waters to over 5 per cent. Twenty marine coastal areas were gazetted for conservation in May this year (2019). It is an admirable advance.
Both Dr Sink and Craig Foster, a film-maker, are harnessing the impact of beautiful images to campaign for conservation. And in this regard, they have a treasure chest to work with. Out filming inside the kelp forest has yielded the most beautiful results. Add drone shots, cutaways, sweeping sea vistas and powerful interviews, and we have an extraordinary insert.
After broadcast early in June, you can watch it here by pressing this link:https://f.io/bZMBiCR_