Plett Ocean Festival 2023 March 15th, 2023
Save The Date For The Second Plett Ocean Feastival
30 June - 9 July 2023
Ocean, marine life and nature lovers are encouraged to save the date for the second Plett Ocean Festival from 30 June - 9 July 2023 with the popular Marine Science Symposium scheduled to take place 30 June, 1 & 2 July 2023 at the Beacon Island Resort. The festival is both a celebration of Plett’s most beloved treasures: our ocean, marine life and beaches, and concentrated conversations about marine conservation that will appeal to a wide range of people.
And how important these conversations can be! As the following outcome of 2022’s Plett Ocean Festival illustrates: local photographer and wildlife enthusiast Rob Smith, after attending a series of presentations at the Marine Science Symposium, was inspired to investigate the Whale Heritage Site programme for Plettenberg Bay which has resulted in Plett’s recognition as an official candidate for Whale Heritage Site status. A Whale Heritage Site is an initiative by the World Cetacean Alliance to recognise and accredit destinations across the world that support and demonstrate the importance of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their ocean habitats. Furthermore, these sites empower communities to care for and protect these magnificent marine mammals while encouraging respect for and celebration of cetaceans through local culture, arts and events, supporting local economic and environmental sustainability; and developing locally based science, research and education – a perfect fit for Plettenberg Bay.
Plettenberg Bay has much to offer during the winter season including mild weather and abundant marine life. Attention during this time of the year is largely focused on the wonders of the ocean as the whales are in the bay, ocean conditions are often idyllic, and Plett’s resident seals, dolphins, sharks, and marine birds are attracted to plentiful food sources. The festival was very well received with 79% of attendees indicating that they would like to return in 2023.
Highly regarded freediving instructor, Zandile Ndhlovu (The Black Mermaid) is set to return after an insightful stint as MC of the 2022 symposium and a successful collaboration with Plett’s Adopt-A-Swimmer to introduce young swimmers to the wonders of the underwater world. Ndhlovu is probably best known for her Black Mermaid Foundation which aims to create diverse representation in the ocean arena of South Africa with the goal of inclusive participation, recreationally and professionally, while creating a new generation of ocean guardians. She was recently selected as one of four speakers to address and be part of the assembly of 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) 2022 in New York.
Symposium delegates and visitors can look forward to a programme that will cover a range of fascinating topics by oceanographers, scientists, naturalists and biologists. Festival director Cindy Wilson-Trollip teases at a range of interesting presentations, conversations and activities: “The programme is developing well, centred around understanding, observation, and conservation of marine life with a range of complementary activities that will celebrate the undiluted exhilaration of being on or around the ocean in Plett.”
As a town with six international Blue Flag Beaches and two Blue Flag Boats, a Mission Blue Hope Spot, and surrounded by national parks and marine protected areas, the Plett Ocean Festival aims to be an all-inclusive, one-of-a-kind event that celebrates conserving and sustainably enjoying the marine resources of Plettenberg Bay.