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6 days ago


ORI TAG, a citizen science monitoring project, provides our researchers with valuable information. Read the latest fascinating story from ORI Tag.White steenbras recapture.

On the 30th December 2018 we had our 392nd white steenbras tag recapture. This fish was originally tagged by Deon Kotze on the 12th July 2014 at Fresh Water/Brandfontein measuring 582 mm FL, before being recaptured 4.6 years later by JP Liebenberg, now measuring 827 mm FL. It was recaptured in the same location, suggesting that this fish may have remained resident in the area.

White steenbras are generally known to be a migratory species with individuals larger than 500 mm often undertaking large-scale migrations. However, there are also those that seem to remain resident as seen with this tag recapture. It is also possible that this fish had moved and come back to the same place during its 4.6 years at liberty.

Fortunately we are now just starting to unravel this mystery with the use of acoustic telemetry. We would like to thank our taggers and the members of the public for their ongoing support in reporting these important recaptures to us! Keep up the good work!

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1 week ago


Meet our new DST-NRF Interns

With the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the National Research Foundation (NRF) launched the DST-NRF Internship Programme in 2005. This programme offers graduates an opportunity to gain practical work experience at various public and private sector host institutes. Each intern is assigned a mentor at their host institute, to provide guidance and support throughout their internship. SAAMBR has been a proud host institute since 2015.

Last week, we said farewell to our exiting DST-NRF interns and welcomed our new recruits – Velosha Naidoo, Sihlo Mfeka and Lucia Zwane. Velosha has a forensic and animal genetics background. She is under the mentorship of ORI senior scientists, Fiona Mackay and Dr Dave Pearton. As a member of the Estuarine and Soft Sediment portfolio, Velosha will be conducting genetic research on marine benthic organisms. Some of the techniques that she will be learning and applying are DNA barcoding, metabarcoding and bioinformatic analysis. “This year I’m taking on a new challenge by entering the marine research field. This is an amazing place to work, learn and gain new skills, which I know will greatly add to my development as a young geneticist,” said Velosha.

Sihlo’s research interests include animal behavioral studies, parasitology studies as well as development of non-destructive biomarkers for animal health. Sihlo is based at uShaka Sea World’s Animal Health department, under the mentorship of veterinarian, Dr Francois Lampen and Dr David Pearton. “This is a dynamic environment and I have already been involved in the routine health checks of the various animals. I love the amount of interaction that I am getting with the animals as well as the opportunity to observe and distinguish their different behavioral patterns,” remarked Sihlo.

This year, for the first time, SAAMBR will host an intern in our Communication Unit, under the mentorship of Conservation Strategist, Dr Judy Mann. Lucia Zwane has an academic background in Drama and Performance, and Media and Cultural Studies. Lucia loves photography and writing and feels at home in the Communication Unit. She is eager to learn how to communicate marine conservation. “I am very grateful for this opportunity and excited – I am looking forward to a fruitful year,” enthused Lucia.

SAAMBR wishes the new interns all the best for the year ahead – welcome to the team!

Photo: New DST-NRF interns, Velosha Naidoo, Sihlo Mfeka and Lucia Zwane.

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