By Ann Kunz
High standards rewarded as SAAMBR receives internationally recognised PAAZA accreditation.
SAAMBR is the first WAZA-affiliated African organisation to achieve the new African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA) Operational Accreditation Standard, which is recognised by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and is in alignment with their Welfare Assessment, known as the WAZA Welfare Goal 2023.
PAAZA accreditation is the highest possible recognition that an animal institution can achieve in Africa and SAAMBR remains the only fully PAAZA accredited aquarium on the continent.
uShaka Marine World CEO, Ndabezitha Khoza, who was extremely proud of this achievement said “Well done to SAAMBR for flying the uShaka flag so high. This accreditation is a true testament to the high level of skills and expertise of the SAAMBR team.”
John Werth, the Executive Director of PAAZA, thanked the SAAMBR team for working with the PAAZA audit team in ‘fine tuning’ the new process: “It gives me great pleasure to congratulate SAAMBR as the first African WAZA member to have successfully completed the new PAAZA Operational Accreditation. I would also like to offer a huge thank you to the SAAMBR team in working with the PAAZA audit team in ‘fine tuning’ the new process”.
Bianca Harwood, uShaka Sea World Administrator, who was tasked with compiling the extensive documentation required for the accreditation process, gave credit to the entire SAAMBR team:
“Thank you to our amazing and professional SAAMBR team for having consistently high standards. This made compiling our accreditation application a relatively smooth process.”
This Certificate of Operational Accreditation is only valid for a period of three years, after which we will need to reapply for accreditation.
Dr Larry Oellermann, the Chief Executive Officer of SAAMBR, commended the PAAZA team for their meticulous work, and noted that “SAAMBR welcomes and appreciates the exacting standards set by PAAZA and the accreditation process, because they provide us with a benchmark against which to measure ourselves every three years, and constantly improve our operations and animal welfare at uShaka Sea World.”