Through the Marine Wildlife Management Programme, the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation has established an ongoing effort to disentangle Cape fur seals in the V&A Waterfront and Cape Town harbour. Many seals become ensnared in nooses of bait box bands, fishing lines, raffia cord and other plastic pollution in this working environment, and if they are left unattended in this state, these nooses cut into the flesh of the seals and cause wounds that lead to the death of the animal.
Thus, the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, along with wildlife monitors in the V&A Waterfront, uses seal platforms to create a comfortable and easily accessible resting spot for the seals, where our team can reach them with the disentanglement devices to free them.
With some much-needed help from Tandem Cranes, the old seal platform located behind the Aquarium was recently removed for some refurbishment. This process was necessary as the platform had begun to sink, which obviously meant that it became more difficult to help the seals - and a much less comfortable place for the seals to rest in large numbers.
To remove the platform for repairs it needed to be towed to a jetty on the far side of the harbour and then removed by one of Tandem's cranes. After three weeks of extensive and intense repairs, the platform was ready to be returned to its original position for some final modifications.
After having added new floats and improved materials, the seal platform is now in much better condition and even more capable of carrying out its purpose!
The Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation would like to thank Tandem Cranes for their amazing and generous contribution to assisting with getting get the 5-ton platform back into the water and in place where it belongs.
The platform will be undergoing some final upgrades over the next few weeks - but is already seeing great use by our local Cape fur seals - be sure to pay them a visit the next time you're in the V&A Waterfront