In their 7 June 2015 programme at 17:30 on SABC 3, and in honour of World Ocean’s day on the 8th June 2015, 50/50 are bringing South African viewers a very special island style broadcast from the island paradise of the Seychelles. All life on this group of tropical islands is supported by the warm waters of the surrounding Indian Ocean, and is home to a wide variety of incredible plants and animals.
Albatross: Wandering giants of the open seas
The Wandering albatross if most famous for its enormous wingspan of almost 4 meters, gliding effortlessly for hundreds of kilometres with a single flap of its vast wings. It circumnavigates the earth in its efforts to find food, only coming back to land every few years to breed. The world over, fishermen and albatross have had a love-hate relationship since the beginning of fishing industry. In more modern times, the massive increase in commercial scale fishing has resulted in birds becoming entangled in hooks and lines to the point where their existence as a species has become seriously threatened. That’s where innovation comes in, and now working in concert with the sea-farers, BirdLife SA has found a clever solution to this problem.
Hammerhead sharks: It’s hammer-time
One of the most recognisable shapes when it comes to shark species, is the strange elongated head of the Hammerhead shark. Physical characteristics aside, there is actually very little else known about these distinctive ocean creatures. What is known, is that they are heavily persecuted in the shark-fin industry, and their numbers are dropping rapidly. Gibbs Kiguru, a marine biologist from Stellenbosch has made it his mission to find out as much about the Hammerhead shark in an effort to conserve them. He is pioneering new ways to catch young sharks with minimal stress to the animal, and hopes that his tracking technology will give researchers some insight as to what happens to the young sharks when they leave the safety of South Africa’s waters.
After seeing so many incredible photos and videos sent in from viewers on their amazing holidays, the 50/50 team are often rather jealous of the sightings and experiences – so for once, it’s now your turn to be jealous! But while we are sitting here in the Seychelles, sipping cocktails, let’s take a look at a few photos, and take the time to appreciate what an amazing continent we live on, full of spectacular biodiversity!