Bayworld talk raises Hope Spot enthusiasm

EFFORTS to declare Algoa Bay a Hope Spot gathered momentum last night when a number of presentations about the Bay’s marine treasures were made at Bayworld in Port Elizabeth.

Hope Spots, as defined by globally renowned American marine biologist, explorer, author and lecturer Sylvia Earle, are special places that are critical to oceanic health.

Earle, who is expected to be in the Bay to launch the Algoa Bay Hope Spot in December, is behind the global Mission Blue campaign which is directed at identifying and then declaring Hope Spots around the globe, which will then collectively comprise a network of marine protected areas.

A substantial number of Hope Spots have already been declared in coastal regions around the world, but none have yet been declared in Africa. According to the Mission Blue website, some of the existing Hope Spots are already formally protected, while others still need defined protection. – Shaun Gillham

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