first_imgThe humpback dolphin is named for the conspicuous raised part of its back. (Image: Whale and Dolphin Conservation            Society) MEDIA CONTACTS • Dr Stephanie Plön  Marine mammal scientist, Bayworld  +27 41 5840650 RELATED ARTICLES • Centre for the protection of penguins • A hefty boost for conservation • Raggies to help shark conservation • Blue Flag beaches for holiday seasonEmily van RijswijckThe Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) in the Eastern Cape is working on improving safety for all beach users and, in doing so, creating a safer environment for the elusive, shore-loving humpback dolphin.The Beachfront Aquatic Safety Zones proposed by the city’s Department of Public Health are geared to creating dedicated, formalised play zones for personal watercraft such as jet skis and rubber ducks.Because the craft pose safety threats to swimmers and other sea users their use has, up to now, been limited to certain areas, but the arrangement has been informal and, largely, seasonal. The new regulations will enforce the limitations at all times.It is not only humans who are under threat from noisy sea vehicles. Studies have found that the high pitch of the engines of motorised craft disturbs marine wildlife, particularly whales and dolphins.While the municipality confirmed that it will re-examine the feasibility of creating a dedicated marine sanctuary in Algoa Bay, a suggestion that has been made in the past, it is unlikely to take such a decision any time soon.Instead, it will limit the use of motorised watercraft in certain areas and, in so doing, enhance the environment for marine wildlife. The municipality hopes that in time strict management will create a safe sanctuary not only for the many swimmers, surfers and paddle skiers who make use of the bay, but also for vulnerable species.The proposal will be put to the council at the end of March, after which it will go through the obligatory public participation process, before being formalised.The proposed motorised watercraft areas are at King’s Beach, north of the power craft launch point and south of the surfing area known as The Fence; the area between Hobie Beach and Barneys; and the area at Millers Beach, provided there are no surfers there.Protecting marine wildlifePods of dolphins – both the more common bottlenose (found in bigger groups) and the rarer Indian humpback (in very small groups), who use the shallow water around the reef areas of Algoa Bay for social interaction and feeding – are a common sight in the bay and can be observed easily as they often feed and play close to land, says Dr Stephanie Plön, marine mammal scientist based at Bayworld Museum in Port Elizabeth.Another attraction is the rare and equally vulnerable African penguin – St Croix Island near Port Elizabeth is home to the biggest colony of these birds.Research on the humpback, undertaken by one of Plön’s students, has revealed recent behavioural changes in the dolphins and a decrease in the size of their groups.“Humpbacks are very rare and very prone to human disturbance. Where before groups of seven members were common, this has now halved, and these dolphins also appear to be feeding less and traveling more,” says Plön.Similar behavioural changes, observed by scientists studying the African penguin, are the result of a lack of food.Humpback dolphin trailA little more than a year ago the NMBM completed the construction of a dedicated humpback dolphin trail running from Pollock Beach in the northwest to Flat Rock to the south.The beautiful raised walkway, constructed from hardy recycled plastic, runs along the edge of the beach, with the natural dune habitat kept intact.Offering an easy 2.3 km walk in one direction, the development also includes a cycle or skateboard track and is well lit at night.Public information boards with colourful depictions of common species to look out for can be seen along the way.last_img read more

first_imgMany people spend the bulk of theirtime at the office, so it is logical toadapt work behaviour to reflect amore sustainable approach.(Image: Architects Modern) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ana-Maria Valente  Director, Dictum Publishers   +27 11 616-7401 RELATED ARTICLES • Maropeng sets green standard • SA’s children learn to be green • Green buildings now the law in SA • SA firms turn to green pest controlShamin ChibbaMaterialism and consumerism are two traits that have led to the degradation of the ecosystem and they must be replaced with thoughtful purchasing, say the organisers of South Africa’s Green Office Week (Gow), an annual initiative that promotes responsibility towards the environment.Now in its third year, Gow will be marked from 16 to 20 April with the theme You can make a difference.The initiative is celebrated in the same week as Earth Day, on 22 April.Gow’s organisers believe that whether an organisation is large or small, green behaviour must be a part of the work habits of everyone employed there.Gow spokesperson Ana-Maria Valente says the aim of the campaign is to encourage employees to consider ways of reducing waste and reusing more material in their offices.“We know that time is limited for most working people so the obvious thing to do is to make green office behaviours as easy as possible by providing samples of action plans that cover the key areas where everybody – from the tea lady to the executives – can start going green,” she says.Some of the tips that can be found on the Gow website include using greyscale printing for in-house documents and taking out all unnecessary goods from car boots in order to save fuel.Green thinking equals financial stabilityThe idea of holding a green office week in South Africa was spawned when Valente came across the British version of Gow. She contacted the organisation and obtained permission to adapt the principles for use in this country.The sustainability of businesses, nations and the earth are all connected, says Valente. As a result, the global economy is adopting principles of environmental maintenance that may offer solutions to climate change and the global financial crisis.“We tend to think that everything from water to food is infinite,” she says. “We are urging people to start thinking green because it is tied to financial sustainability.”Encouraging corporate cooperationThe general perception is that corporations care more for their bottom line and pay the planet scant attention. Although there are numerous big companies, such as Nedbank, who are conscious of their carbon footprint and have implemented many strategies to offset it, Valente says there are three ways to coax more of these companies into being considerate towards the environment.The first is legislation that would punish them for misdemeanours against the ecosystem.Another method is to show them that they can actually measure the amount they save if they stop wastage of electricity, paper, fuel and the like.The final way is to implement a reward system. Gow is using this last technique as a way to get employees to start thinking green.For this year’s initiative Gow has introduced the Green Heart Award, which is given to individuals who have made considerable eco-friendly changes within the office environment.“We want to go into firms and find the eco-champions. The minute you start finding eco-champions you grow more of them,” says Valente.The reward is an attractive cash prize for both the winner and the person who sent in the nomination. There is also a host of other sponsored prizes.Gow is creating a marketing strategy that will see celebrities promoting the campaign as well as the use of media to spread the organisation’s message.“We want to use every possible psychological tool,” says Valente.Employees need to know about GowSome employees, however, know nothing about Green Office Week. Keveshen Chetty, an ICT practitioner at Asgisa Eastern Cape, said that he was not aware of the initiative.Chetty acknowledged that more needs to be done to make offices more eco-friendly.“A formal awareness strategy should be developed and staff made aware of it,” he said.Jaen-Pierre Klaassen, CEO of web development company MyGuru, has also not heard of Gow. However, he said his organisation has a number of green habits.MyGuru’s billing system is fully digital; the company has only one laser jet printer and it rarely buys paper. The servers are driven by wind farms and power supplies are switched off at the end of each day.“It is just a way of thinking. We are a generation that has these habits ingrained in us,” said Klaassen.MyGuru also offers an email service called Clickmail, which encourages clients to send e-newsletters and conduct campaigns online. For every client that signs up, MyGuru donates money to an organisation that will plant a tree.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Dan Klosterman was the winner of Week #2 of Feeding Farmers in the Field, so The Ohio Ag Net crew heading to his hog operation in Auglaize County with lunch on Friday. While at the farm, Dale Minyo visited with Klosterman about the farm and the 2015 growing season.last_img

first_imgYusuf Pathan is a busy man. Not only is he attempting to demolish the opposition, but he also bought two grey parrots in Bangalore, each worth Rs 35,000,and two Amazon parrots for the same price. All four are trained to talk. The batsman who shows no mercy to bowlers is a soft touch when it comes to abandoned and injured animals. Six years ago, Pathan met Snehal Bhavsar of the Gujarat Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at her husband’s shop for pet foods. He has been associated with the NGO since then. Pathan has three horses, four cats, an imported goat and a couple of parrots at his home. He is getting a special shelter built for pets at his farm house in Nadial, 45 km from Ahmedabad. The 28-year-old is now waiting for a special certificate from the wildlife conservation department before taking the parrots home.last_img read more