ORI scientists present research papers at marine science symposium

The SAAMBR team recently returned from Port Elizabeth, where they attended the 16th Southern African Marine Science Symposium held at the Boardwalk Convention Centre.

The conference was hosted in collaboration with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research.

ORI scientists Sean Porter, Sean Fennessy, Stuart Lang, Jone Porter, Jade Maggs, Skumbuso Maduna, Judy Mann-Lang, Rachael Kramer, Shohanna Singh, Gareth Jordaan and Johan Groenewald. (Image: uShaka Sea World)

Under the theme “Embracing the Blue – unlocking the ocean’s economic potential whilst maintaining social and ecological resilience”, the symposium offered a platform for experts, academics and students to create opportunities for international collaboration and partnerships, and for postgraduate students to meet leaders from various disciplines.

The Oceanographic Research Institute was well represented and staff presented formal papers on a wide range of topics, including fish movement, Indian Ocean fisheries, the fate of discarded sharks from longliners, marine macrobenthos taxonomy, phylogeny of spiny lobsters, the economic value of coral reefs, long-term dynamics of coral reefs and fishermen's attitudes to management.

In addition, a workshop on science communication was also presented by the team to over 40 enthusiastic young scientists.

"Having an opportunity and forum such as this to share our findings and to discuss issues of common interest with over 400 marine scientists from around South Africa was invaluable, and reaffirmed the importance of these triannual symposia," said SAAMBR media liaison Ann Kunz.

So much of SAAMBR's work is founded on personal relationships, and it is these relationships that were rekindled at the symposium.

Science is a collaborative endeavour and attendance at the symposium was an excellent way for SAAMBR to reaffirm its role as a leader and collaborator in marine science in South Africa.

Scholarly articles prepared for the symposium by ORI scientists and other attendees can be found here.

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