Starting this month, we thought we'd begin sharing our favourite news - the stories that give us hope for the future of our ocean, the excitement of knowing there is still plenty to be discovered and the gratitude for being able to share the planet with awesome people that share our passion for conservation. Here are our top pieces of uplifting ocean news from the past month, from Cape Town and beyond.

 

South African whales are having a bumper year

In a recent survey carried out by Jean Tresfon, 1 346 southern right whales were spotted. That's more than triple the number that was counted at the same time last year, and an all-time record for southern right whale sightings on our coast.

A tiny new seahorse was discovered - and it's adorable!

This pygmy seahorse has been dubbed the "Japan Pig" by scientists from the California Academy of Sciences. Hippocampus japapigu was discovered living on the rocky ocean around Japan in an area commonly frequented by divers - proving that new species can be hidden right under our noses.

We rescued a seal disguised as a shark!

On 11 August, the Aquarium was called to assist a seal that appeared to have a broken fin. Little did we know this was actually a seal that had been tangled in a line from which someone had hung a shark fin to sun-dry! The seal was uninjured (although we think he might have lost some seal street cred). We, unfortunately, have no way of knowing if the shark fin originated from legal fisheries or poaching.

And in case you missed it - we pulled off another epic seal rescue. Check out the video.

South African woman swims 100km for ocean conservation

Sarah Ferguson swam 100km through the waters of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa's largest marine protected area, to raise awareness of the issue of plastic pollution in our ocean - more than 350kg of plastic pollution enters our ocean every second.

“Being totally exposed to the elements was utterly invigorating and freeing, while knowing that I was swimming for more than myself – taking a stand against a global environmental issue, and educating others on how to live and practice a plastic-free life.” – Sarah Ferguson

Credit: Zululand Observer

WWF South Africa turns 50!

For 50 years the World Wildlife Fund has been one of South Africa's premier conservation organisations. As you may well know if you are a Two Oceans Aquarium follower, their WWF SASSI programme is the leading authority on information about sustainable fisheries in South Africa, but what else have they been up to? Capetown ETC has compiled an amazing list of WWF South Africa's milestones.

Credit: Capetown ETC.

Giant coral reef discovery in the Atlantic Ocean

A team of scientists discovered a 140km long coral reef off the Atlantic coast of the USA. This alien-looking deep-sea reef likely plays a key role in the entire region's ecology

“It’s kind of thrown my mental image of what the reefs out here look like for a loop.” – Sandra Brooke, coral ecologist at Florida State University

Credit: Huffington Post

Even more South African businesses taking action to stop single-use plastics

With the entire globe finally responding to the call to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics, such as nationwide bans in New Zealand and Dominica and city-wide bans in places like Mexico's Tijuana, we thought we should bring you the good news from closer to home. 

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