SAMREC seabird facility tansferred to SANCCOB

On 1 April 2017, the South African Foundation for Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) took over operations at the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (SAMREC) in a move that will consolidate seabird rehabilitation and conservation efforts in the country.

A primary focus of marine bird conservation in South Africa is the endangered Africa penguin, whose global population, found only in South Africa and Namibia, has been reduced to just 2% of its early 1900s population. Two large oils spills, the Apollo Sea (1994) and the Treasure (2000), affected tens of thousands of these birds. Improved response techniques developed during the second response are credited with contributing to the overall survival of the species.

The SAMREC facility at Cape Recife joins the two existing SANCCOB centres in Cape Town and Cape St. Francis. Having all three facilities under the same leadership will allow for enhanced response during emergencies such as oil spills, where other local and national stakeholders such as South African National Parks (SANParks), are also involved.
SAMREC’s emphasis on education, in addition to their conservation and rehabilitation efforts, is shared by SANCCOB. As SAMREC Board Chairperson Dr Eckart Schumann noted, “We have always recognised that environmental education of our youth is vitally important for our future, and we are happy to say that we have found the same commitment to education in SANCCOB.”

Dr Stephen van der Spuy said, “I want to commend the SAMREC team for their years of commitment and vigilance to save southern Africa’s marine life. We are extremely humbled to be given this opportunity and excited to build on the foundations laid by the team.”

SANCCOB was established in 1968. SAMREC opened in 2000.