2021 Southern African Shark and Ray Symposium
The 6th Southern African Shark & Ray Symposium
The Dyer Island Conservation Trust, in partnership with Marine Dynamics Shark and Whale Tours, is proud, and excited, to be hosting the 2021 6th Southern African Shark & Ray Symposium from 17-19 November.
The theme of the symposium for 2021 is “Catalyst for Change: Post-pandemic research on Southern African Chondrichthyans.”
As we emerge from the pandemic the 6th SASRS will offer the chance for the African shark and ray research community to engage and share information on the status of their different projects. As usual it will include a wide range of disciplines from spatial, physiological, molecular biology, to conservation and socio-economic studies.
The SASRS attracts marine biologists, researchers, students, conservationists, government officials, and tour operators and companies from predominantly sub-Saharan African countries, including Mozambique, Kenya, Namibia, and South Africa.
Save Our Seas Foundation has once again provided sponsorship, some of which will be allocated to travel grants. We are honoured to follow these organisations that have hosted our previous symposia: Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board (2011), Shark Spotters (2013), Oceans Research (2015), South African Shark Conservancy (2017) and Two Oceans Aquarium (2019).
We are also pleased to announce the Scientific Committee who will assess the abstracts and presentations submitted and help chair the sessions:
- Dr Alison Kock (SANParks / University of Cape Town)
- Dr Charlene Da Silva (Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment)
- Dr Nathalie Viljoen (Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation)
- Dr Clova Mabin (Save our Seas Foundation)
- Dr Geremy Cliff (University of KwaZulu Natal)
- Dr Paul Cowley (SAIAB)
- Dr Enrico Gennari (Oceans Research / SAIAB)
- Sarah Waries (Shark Spotters)
- Alison Towner Rhodes University / Dyer Island Conservation Trust)
- Ralph Watson (Rhodes University / Dyer Island Conservation Trust)
The Organising Committee from the Dyer Island Conservation Trust with support from Marine Dynamics is Brenda Walters, Pinkey Ngewu and Cari Roets.
The 6th Southern African Shark & Ray Symposium invites delegates from diverse disciplines and interest groups to participate to ensure meaningful and robust discussions which will deliver outcomes beneficial to chondrichthyan species, marine ecosystems and human communities. Changes in some SA shark species distributions and/or numbers have highlighted the fact that collaborative chondrichthyan research has never been more urgent. Furthermore, the global pandemic has resulted in many pressures, limiting, or preventing ongoing fieldwork, such as travel restrictions, lab closures, research that is dependent on eco-tourism, or government departments that were locked down for months.
The Dyer Island Conservation Trust, based in Gansbaai, has since 2006 supported marine research, conservation, and education. A key objective through the research is to protect the long-term future of the local marine species, by translating knowledge into evidence-based conservation initiatives and legislation. The Marine Dynamics vessels have provided a critical observational platform as well as operational and financial support to various projects including observational, environmental, and telemetry-based shark research.
The preliminary programme includes presentations on the first two days and workshops on the third day. On the evening of the 16th November, delegates can do early registration and enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants in Gansbaai. There will be an icebreaker event on the 17th and a gala dinner evening on the 18th.
Delegates are encouraged to stay for the weekend to explore the incredible wildlife diversity of the Dyer Island Ecosystem and enjoy the town of Gansbaai. Marine Dynamics will provide shark cage diving and whale watching/Marine Big 5 tours at a 50% discount to all delegates. There are beautiful hikes and mountain bike trails in the area, local wine farms to explore, a variety of accommodation including Marine Dynamics on-site chalets and guest house option offering a 10% discount to delegates, just a short drive from the symposium venue Panorama Farm which also has accommodation options available at 50% discount (including a 20 person house for any large groups attending or those that are happy to share). Of course, the team would also love to show you our key conservation project, the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary. For more things to do in the area: https://xplorio.com/gansbaai/en/things-to-do/
We look forward to hosting the 2021 Southern African Shark & Ray Symposium and contributing further to the sustainable use, protection and conservation of chondrichthyan species in Southern Africa.
Travel Grants: The Save our Seas Foundation will generously contribute to the travel costs of four students from the Africa continent outside of South Africa. To enquire about these opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org