By Dr Judy Mann-Lang, Conservation Strategist, SAAMBR
Located in Durban on the East Coast of South Africa, this attraction is one of the largest and best-known man-made attractions in Africa and the aquarium has been visited by over 10 million people. It is hard to believe that just 17 years ago we were still moving fish, testing life support systems and planning visitor experiences.
uShaka Sea World provides a window into the Western Indian Ocean. It is home to a diverse collection of marine life, representative of local seas. The imaginatively themed underground Wreck aquarium, dolphin stadium, seal stadium and penguin rookery promote conservation awareness amongst guests. It allows them to experience close contact with some of nature’s most amazing marine creatures.
Meanwhile, the Education Centre has an extensive range of marine environmental education programmes. Through these, it reaches learners and teachers from all over South Africa.
uShaka Sea World & SAAMBR
uShaka Sea World is a household name in South Africa. However, few people know that uShaka Sea World and the Education Centre are operated by the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR).
SAAMBR is a 70-year-old Non-Profit, Non-Government Organisation dedicated to marine conservation. It fulfils its mission of “helping people to care for the ocean” through the operation of uShaka Sea World as well as the Education Centre and the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI).
The ORI undertakes applied marine research throughout much of the Western Indian Ocean. With a team of over 30 full-time staff members, ORI promotes sustainable development as well as the wise use of resources and capacity building through research, long term monitoring and training.
SAAMBR is a unique organisation where a world-class aquarium provides local people with their first introduction to the ocean. It also simultaneously provides much-needed opportunities for the environmental education and marine research so essential in Africa today.
As we celebrate uShaka Sea World’s 17th birthday, we also pay tribute to SAAMBR. This is an organisation that has, for 70 years, truly helped people to care for the ocean.