Various members from different facets of the ocean community recently participated in an Ocean Literacy workshop at the Two Oceans Aquarium. The workshop was aimed at contributing to sustainable ocean governance for the future.
The workshop, hosted by Dr Judy Mann from the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation and Dr Emma Mckinley from Cardiff University, was based on the complex relationship between the ocean, the coast, and society. The workshop facilitated conversation between informative presentations about our influence on the ocean, and vice versa.
It was truly a one-of-a -kind experience with so much richness. The speakers were inspiring and perfectly balanced between the creative & scientific spheres. I am still processing it all and finding words to explain it to family and friends! I was reinvigorated by the energy in the room, inspired toward new ideas and certainly have renewed hope for the future of our ocean. – Kirtanya Maharaj, WWF-SASSI Project Officer: Marine Programme, WWF South Africa.
This project contributed to the globally emerging ocean literacy community and the identification of a forward-looking research agenda for ocean literacy.
“As I am quite new to the ocean literacy concept and the marine education space as a whole, attending the Ocean Literacy workshop opened my eyes to the many ways in which we not only rely on the ocean, but the ocean relies on us. I also found it exciting to hear how everyone’s personal ocean experiences have contributed to a different perspective and relationship with the ocean” – Ethan Smit, Online Content Coordinator at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
The Ocean Literacy workshop successfully brought together academics, policymakers, and practitioners across South Africa to map ocean literacy research in South Africa, identify gaps in knowledge and practice, co-identify future priorities, and develop the next steps.
“The workshop was made a success with generous participation by individual South Africans who have dedicated their careers to better understanding the ocean. This has informed their knowledge production in various sectors of society on the ocean and the issues facing it” said Dr Mann.
I found it very powerful, and so great to see the generosity of spirit and deep engagement on how to expand and enrich our approach to learning and narrating our understandings of the ocean. It was very profound, and such a beautiful new family of practice. I can't wait to learn more. It was a beautifully held and facilitated event, and everyone I spoke to found it incredibly inspiring and rich. Dr Dylan McGarry, Senior Researcher, Educational Sociologist & Artist.