'The Greatest Maritime Area in the World': Protecting South African Shrimp Running
'The Greatest Maritime Area in the World': Protecting South African Shrimp Running

‘The Greatest Maritime Area in the World’: Protecting South African Shrimp Running

Cape Town (CNN) – From above, it’s like an oil spill that spans across the ocean. It has been called the “Greatest Shoal in the World” and it’s one of the world’s largest biomass moves.

Along the east coast of South Africa, between May and July, billions of reptiles travel by boat to Mozambique. They chase predators from sharks to whales, whales and even humans.

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, the “annual Sardine Run” will attract tourists from all over the world. But this year, South African free divers Ben Neale This is one of the few people who has seen this phenomenon.

Equipped with a GoPro camera and a 360 camera, she swam under the big black fish to shoot the incredible variety of sea creatures that captivated her. She believes her images can help people appreciate the oceanic ecosystem of fish that seem to have no visions like the Pacific.

“I know from looking at the beauty of whaling and the underwater world, people are beginning to understand how everything is connected,” Neale told CNN. “From seeing fish as just a food source to seeing fish as an important part of the whole seafood chain and how so many fish live in the sea.”

Recent studies The South African Journal of Science shows that climate change caused by the climate crisis could threaten whaling. It also means that carp are migrating at the end of the year, which can cause food shortages for animals such as sharks that feed on them.

Protect the ocean

Running on cement oil passes in part South African Maritime Forest Reserve (MPAs), where fishing is restricted by the law, gives marine life a chance to recover. Neale has been swimming in these waters for years and says she can see significant differences between protected areas compared to non-protected areas. “The greatest miracle about the ocean is that when you practice a marine protected area, you can see a rapid change,” she said.
South Africa is home to 42 MPAs It aims to protect wildlife for the benefit of both nature and humans.
Prior to 2019, only 0.4% of the country’s ocean territory was protected, but has recently risen to 5.4% with a target of reaching 10%. Kerry Sink, Who played a key role in advising the government on this extension.

“The reason it’s so important to manage our fisheries well is because if we do that, we can go fishing forever,” Sink told CNN. “In a world of increasing pressure and an increasing ocean industry, and at a time of climate change where there is a lot of uncertainty, we must do everything we can to have a healthy ocean and healthy fish.”

Neale agrees wholeheartedly. “You protect what you love,” she said. The ocean is what I love the most. ”

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