All about the youth at the 2012 International Aquarium Congress

By Katja Rockstroh / 14 May 2012

As a result of the growing recognition the Two Oceans Aquarium has received, we are hosting the 2012 International Aquarium Congress (IAC) from 9 to 14 September 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). The IAC is the most important and prestigious event for the public aquarium industry, drawing specialists in animal husbandry, marine education, tourism and aquarium business management from around the globe. What’s more, the 2012 congress marks the first time these key players in the industry meet on African soil.

The Two Oceans Aquarium has a proud tradition as a public education facility as well as an environmental education facility for schools. Our mission provides our focus: “We foster love, respect and understanding of our oceans to inspire support for their future well-being.”

Because of this, the first day of the IAC will focus on education.

The IAC will be attended by approximately 500 delegates from various aquariums around the world. However, for the opening day, we have booked Auditorium 1 at the CTICC in order to accommodate an extra 500 invited high school, university and college students! The aim is to expose this audience to the role of aquariums in the conservation of our oceans, and to involve them in discussions on some of the key issues regarding education programmes in these facilities. 

The three events that can be applied for are:

The Two Oceans Aquarium Youth Symposium: Sunday 29 July 2012
The Voices of the Future of the Oceans video conference: Friday 7 to Saturday 8 September 2012
The opening day of the 2012 IAC: Monday 10 September 2012

The Two Oceans Aquarium Youth Symposium

The Two Oceans Aquarium Youth Symposium is scheduled for Sunday 29 July. All interested high school and university students will be invited to present a speech of no more than five minutes, in which they propose the changes they would like aquarium authorities from across the globe to implement. These need to focus on engendering positive and lasting impacts on our marine ecosystems. The speeches will be adjudicated by a panel of selected guests as well as members of the symposium. The winner will have the honour of addressing the entire IAC audience on the opening day of the congress.

The Voices of the Future of the Oceans video conference

At the symposium mentioned above, we will be selecting a group of 30 debaters who will be invited to attend an overnight video conference at the Aquarium on 7 September 2012. This video conference will facilitate discussions between our team and similar teams at major aquariums across the world, including Hong Kong, Chicago and Monaco. They will deal with certain points of discussion and areas of concern. The final summary will be presented by their spokesperson to the IAC delegates on Monday 10 September 2012.

For more information and how to apply, please contact Katja Rockstroh on or 021 418 3823. Application closing date: 29 June 2012.

2012 International Aquarium Congress Opening Day

For the opening day of the congress, 10 September, we invite schools to apply to participate at the CTICC. This event promises to be inspirational, especially for young scholars with a passion for developing solutions for problems facing our oceans and the life within.

We can accommodate 50 school groups of no more than 10 suitable candidates per school. The Two Oceans Aquarium will pay the registration fee for those selected.

Schools need to apply for this event in advance. Non-registered groups will not be admitted to the event.

Application closing date: 29 June 2012

For more information and how to apply, please contact Katja Rockstroh on or 021 418 3823.

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