• Staff writer


This year’s theme for World Oceans Day is The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods, which explores how human activity impacts on life underneath the oceans, and how this in turn impacts on the millions of people who use them to earn a living.

The recent formation of the V & A’s ocean cluster is facilitating collaboration between all ocean economy tenants and other stakeholders. In April, the Waterfront announced the formation of Blue Cape, a collaborative partnership between the V & A and the City of Cape Town to grow the oceans-based economy by identifying and unlocking opportunities.

The ocean cluster facilitates collaboration between all ocean economy tenants and other stakeholders to create an example of socially responsible blue economy engagement. The waterfront is focussing its activities on building its oceans economy while supporting ocean stewardship through developing an oceans cluster, facilitated by its new department, SOLVE Waterfront.

Sustainability of the oceans is crucial and issues such as pollution, global warming and overfishing have upset the ecological balance. Individuals and organisations can undo some of the damage by making changes in their daily lives in order to protect the oceans and preserve marine resources. At the Waterfront, a crew of over 90 people is responsible for collecting, handling and sorting on-site waste at its Waste Recovery and Recycling Centre, and over the past year, more than 3500 tons of waste was collected; of this, 44 tons came from the waterways alone.

Another key driver of ocean sustainability is the V & A Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation, a non-profit organisation which undertakes marine science education programmes. Two of these include the turtle rescue and rehabilitation programme and the marine wildlife management programme, with the latter monitoring the health and quality of water in the Waterfront’s canals, marinas and basins.

The Waterfront is also exploring the feasibility of developing an oceans economy hub at its property to provide skills development, networking and co-working space for the marine manufacturing sector and other sectors of the blue ocean economy.

The UN estimates that by 2030, about 40 million people will be employed globally by ocean-based industries, but 90 % of big fish populations have already been depleted and 50 % of coral reefs have been destroyed. Scientists therefore warn that while oceans are used to grow economies, man’s destructive habits must be changed. The UN has declared 2021 to 2030 as the decade of ocean science for sustainable development and there are plans to strengthen international cooperation to develop scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.


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