November 13, 2020

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Featured image by Jason Boswell

In November 2019, Cape RADD (Research and Diver Development) became the newly-appointed Champions of the False Bay Hope Spot. Run by a small team of passionate marine biologists and conservationists, Cape RADD serves as a platform for researchers in the False Bay area of Cape Town, South Africa. Read on to learn more about the important work they are doing in South Africa!

 

Biologists out on a sampling survey (c) Jason Boswell

 

Inspiring the next generation of marine scientists

Cape RADD’s team of scientists aim to better understand the underwater world by using a variety of sampling techniques including transects, quadrats, remote underwater video and mark-recapture to monitor long-term changes to biodiversity in the area. They conduct a number of research projects including kelp forest grazer density and distribution, fish and shark population estimates, microplastic pollution, and more.

 

Safety checks before a shore survey (c) Cape RADD

 

At the core of Cape RADD’s values is passing on our expertise to early career scientists and those with a passion for the ocean. They do this through their Marine Science field courses, which are held year-round. These courses allow students from around the world to experience this incredible area while gaining hands-on experience as a marine scientist and being directly involved with research and conservation projects.

 

Cape RADD biologists sampling in the kelp forest (c) Jason Boswell

 

Educating the public through Citizen Science initiatives

A large part of Cape RADD’s mission is to engage and inspire the wider public to care and conserve this beautiful Hope Spot and the oceans in general. Cape RADD has a particular focus on approaches that leverages citizen science, which combines scientific data collection with recreational SCUBA divers, snorkelers, and other ocean-lover communities.

 

Citizen science briefing (c) Jacques Marais

 

A ‘’Snorkel for Science’’ experience allows guests become marine biologists for the day.  The Cape RADD team informs the group of the local biodiversity, what makes the area special, the objectives of the snorkel survey and how it will contribute towards the future protection of local endemic species and kelp forest ecosystems.

 

A Puffadder, one of South Africa’s endemic catshark species (c) Cape RADD

 

Guests and biologists head into the kelp forests for a fish and shark survey, where the group works to identify and document all observed fish and sharks during the dive. Guests leave with new knowledge, a great experience and an important contribution to the monitoring of the biodiversity of False Bay.

 

Student learning sampling techniques (c) Cape RADD

 

Outreach and Community

To create an ongoing culture of public support for the local marine ecosystem, Cape RADD conducts marine education days and talks at schools all over Cape Town, from private schools to the less privileged areas and schools in the area. This allows their team to communicate conservation issues to directly school kids, universities and many other community groups.

 

Biologist Mike Barron speaks to local students (in his Mission Blue t-shirt!) (c) Cape RADD

 

To help combat the global plastic pollution problem, Cape RADD hosts a ‘’Nurdle Exchange’’ to combat a recent plastic nurdle spill by encouraging people to get out to their local beach and collect as many nurdles as possible, and they can use these in exchange for our Citizen Science project. This not only helps with cleaning the environment but aims to raise awareness to the pollution issues False Bay and the entire ocean is facing.

To learn more about Cape RADD, visit www.caperadd.com.

Stay tuned with the latest at the False Bay Hope Spot on Cape RADD’s

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter  and YouTube.

 
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