01 October 2010

Sarstedt’s songs a call to action for seal conservation

Ingrid Sinclair

It was all smiles and standing ovations last night, as Peter Sarstedt finished his second set of the night with the moving Where Do You Go To (My Lovely). The intimate crowd of 120 that came to the Aquarium for the legendary folk singer’s concert, hosted by long-standing partner Sappi in support of our seal-conservation project, was thrilled by Sarstedt’s sets and wowed by the creatures in the I&J Predator Exhibit, the backdrop to his beautiful solo performance.

The evening’s proceedings were kicked off by Aquarium Curator Michael Farquhar, who thanked Sappi for their continued support, as well as Flow Communications, the Aquarium’s web developer, who helped sell tickets and promote the event online.

Assistant Curator Claire Taylor gave a poignant presentation on the plight of the V&A Waterfront’s Cape fur seals, who often become entangled in ocean litter, and are severely injured as a result.

Taylor spoke about the Aquarium’s work with seals and explained why the new platform – to be built outside Shoreline Café – is so important, helping wild seals that would otherwise make a break for it should they spot a human approaching. With the new platform’s fencing, Aquarium staff will be able to enclose injured animals and then remove the nooses in which they’re caught.

Sarstedt performed two sets and his fans were enthralled – as much by his deep, soothing baritone as by the gentle swish of the ragged-tooth sharks, yellowtail and giant kob behind him.

From Frozen Orange Juice to the marathon Green Alphabet (a complete A to Z of environmental issues), Sarstedt pulled out all the stops and was genuinely pleased by the response from the audience, which included young and old, grandchildren and grandparents, Aquarium staff, family and friends.

Before the show and during the interval those in attendance were equally enraptured by the rest of the exhibits at the Aquarium. Couples could be seen gazing into the Kelp Forest Exhibit while enjoying a glass of red or white from Two Oceans Wine.

While Sarstedt’s melodies are infectious, it’s the lyrics that really make most of the impact. Clearly a deep thinker with a taste for adventure, Sarstedt draws on his years of experience for inspiration. His fans listened intently to every word, often erupting in laughter and applause at a particularly pithy line.

Events like these are not only utterly enjoyable but also completely essential for the Aquarium’s conservation projects. Many of the attendees were so moved by Taylor’s presentation that pledges to help out were made on the night.

Thanks to all who attended – your support means so much to us, and our seals.  Please contact Kim Taylor should you be interested in supporting the seal-conservation initiative.

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