Marine Protected Areas
Surfing, building sand castles and splashing around in the waves are some of the many uses we have for the ocean. This huge mass of water covers 71% of the earth’s surface and yet a mere 1% of it is protected. While game reserves on land protect wildlife from human disturbance, the ocean is somewhat forgotten.
People also seem to think that because it is so vast, the ocean is invincible. But this is not so. Overfished and severely polluted areas are becoming dead zones. To address this problem, some marine areas are being awarded Marine Protected Area (MPA) status. These are the game reserves of the ocean, where every part of the ecosystem is protected – from the smallest microbe to the southern right whale. But how does that affect the beach bums in all of us? What exactly does it mean to be an MPA? And are they working?
Rhinos, one of majestic Big Five, are on the tongues of every South African, with more than 381 of the animals poached already this year. We know the debates, to dehorn or not to dehorn, legalise trade or keep it banned, increase park protection or translocate the survivors. Countless people claim to be helping rhinos, but with the number of individuals involved and the unveiling of fraud in wildlife fundraising, how do we know whom to trust and find out what the reliable people are really doing in the interests of the rhinos?
Some of the casualties of the rhino wars are the orphans that are left behind when their mothers have been slaughtered by poachers. With only a narrow timeframe in which to rescue and stabilise these little ones, it’s dedicated people like rehab expert Karen Trendler who step up to the plate. The EWT MyPlanet Rhino Fund was launched last year and the Rhino Response Project is one of the efforts consumers’ swipes support.
Treasure in a trolley
We have all seen them … those men and women on the roads pushing home-made trolleys the size of small cars. Some of us wait patiently as they block the traffic; others hoot and swear at them. But what are they really doing digging through our rubbish? South Africans recycle just a fraction of what we use and the waste pickers perform an important role in sorting through our debris. Hunting for paper, plastic, tin and cardboard, they travel kilometres to make just a few rands. We explore this crucial part of our recycling chain. Bonne and Faye spend a day in the life of a waste picker and find out what they do and what troubles they have en route.
The predators are back in the limelight this week on VeldFokus and there are also some pretty unusual animal encounters!