It’s almost time for the World Oceans Day (8 June) celebrations which will kick off the inaugural Ocean Festival, taking place in Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast from 8 to 11 June. Visitors can look forward to surfing and surfski action from the country’s top athletes, as well as a host of family-friendly activities and entertainment – all focused on ocean conservation.
“We’ve put together a really fun programme for our first-ever Ocean Festival as a way to educate and entertain the public about the need to protect our oceans,” explained Ocean Festival Founder, Russel Symcox. “This is one of the best times of year to visit the KZN South Coast, with our sunny skies and warm Indian Ocean, and we want to ensure the first year is memorable as we change the tide on ocean conservation together.”
Four times South African National Freediving Champion, ocean conservationist, filmmaker, and Guinness World Record holder, Beth Neale, said she fully supports the Ocean Festival, along with her freediving family Miles and water-baby, Neve.
“World Oceans Day is my favourite day of the year! This special day is a global reminder that our actions matter. It’s a wake-up call to protect and preserve our oceans for future generations. It’s about recognising that everything we do, even the smallest choices we make, has an impact on the oceans and the incredible creatures that call them home. It’s a day to raise awareness, celebrate biodiversity, promote sustainable practices, foster global collaboration, and educate ourselves and others. I support the Ocean Festival because we can all come together to celebrate our oceans and the beauty and diversity of our marine life. Together, let’s make waves for our oceans and create a brighter, bluer future for all.”
Dr Judy Mann, Founder of MPA Day and Research Associate at SAAMBR commented: “The Ocean Festival is a great way to raise awareness about the need to protect the ocean and the role that each of us can play in caring for the ocean. I am especially happy that the Leatherback Rum Surfski Challenge will highlight the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area [MPA] to a group of ocean users who can share information about the role of MPAs in ocean conservation. I am excited that the surfski community will become ambassadors for MPAs and better protection of the ocean after this innovative race.”