Hermanus is well-known as the best-land based whale watching destination in the world. With this great spectacle many tourists flock to the bustling coastal town, yet few realise that the town has as big a heart as its annual visitors.
The South African Shark Conservancy (SASC) is a registered non-profit company that has dedicated its research to the long-term sustainability of marine resources. The passionate team of scientists, conservationists and volunteers work hard at educating others and creating awareness. They also focus on collecting enough data to share with their global network of academic, governmental and non-governmental organisations to produce sufficient marine conservation and management recommendations.
SASC also specialises in consulting on matters such as fisheries management, marine biodiversity conservation, resource management and development, capacity building, impact assessments and education.
The company was founded in 2007 by Meaghen McCord who manages the operations at SASC and is the Principal Investigator for their Bull Shark Research Project. The project is trying to improve the rapid decline of Bull Sharks in Southern Africa. Near extinction, this shark species is iconic and SASC is doing all that they can to change the situation. However, this is only one project among many.
Their love for the ocean has led to these many positive initiatives and to their motto: Research – Protect – Educate. The office is open to the public between 10h00 - 11h00 and 14h00 – 15h00 during weekdays and you can contact them on 028 312 3029. However, if you want to get more involved there are internships that educate volunteers for a month at a time.
Based at the Old Harbour Museum near the Market Square (a popular destination for locals and tourists) it is the perfect place to stop in for a visit that will most likely prove to be enlightening and inspiring.
(All Images courtesy of the South African Shark Conservancy)