Minister Barbara Creecy Leads World Oceans Day 2023 Celebration

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oceans marine life

On June 8, 2023, the South African Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, Ms. Barbara Creecy, led the World Oceans Day celebration aboard the SA Agulhas II in Cape Town. This year’s theme, “Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing,” emphasized the oceans’ vastness and the need to protect them from unprecedented challenges.

Open Days for Learners

To raise awareness, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment hosted an Open Day for learners on June 8 and 9, 2023. The SA Agulhas II, a polar and research vessel docked at the Cape Town harbor, served as the venue for these Open Days. The initiative aimed to educate students about the significance of oceans and their impact on daily life.

Public Tours

The public had the opportunity to tour the SA Agulhas II on June 10 and 11, learning about South Africa’s efforts to monitor, research, and protect oceans and marine life. The department hosted 1,000 learners during the weekdays and issued 4,000 free tickets to the public for the weekend event.

Budget Vote Speech

Minister Creecy used the World Oceans Day commemoration platform to discuss her upcoming Budget Vote speech, which she will deliver to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) soon after the event.

Environment Month Activities

The World Oceans Day Open Day was part of the department’s Environment Month activities, held annually during June. For more information about the department’s activities, visit

Importance of Understanding and Protecting Marine Environments

The commemoration of World Oceans Day highlights the necessity of understanding and protecting our marine environments. The department hopes to instill a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the oceans and their vital role in sustaining life on Earth by engaging learners and the public.

Focus on Education

One essential aspect of the World Oceans Day initiative is its focus on education. By providing hands-on experiences and direct engagement with marine research, the department aims to inspire a new generation of ocean advocates who will work towards preserving our oceans for future generations.

SA Agulhas II’s Role in Ocean Research and Protection

The SA Agulhas II symbolizes the country’s commitment to ocean research and protection. As a polar and research vessel, it plays a vital role in monitoring the health of our oceans and the marine life that inhabits them. The vessel’s presence during the World Oceans Day celebrations showcases the importance of investing in such research to drive informed decision-making and effective conservation efforts.

Reaffirming Our Commitment

The World Oceans Day 2023 commemoration was a day to appreciate the beauty and importance of our oceans, recognize the challenges they face, and reaffirm our commitment to protect and preserve these precious resources. Through initiatives like the Open Days and the presence of the SA Agulhas II, South Africa continues to demonstrate its dedication to understanding and safeguarding the marine environment for the benefit of current and future generations.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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