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The Two Oceans Aquarium: Co-champions for hope!

By Heather Wares and Ethan Smit
- Blog, Conservation
The Two Oceans Aquarium: Co-champions for hope!

On 09 February 2024, world-renowned marine biologist and oceanographer Dr Sylvia Earle welcomed the Two Oceans Aquarium to the Mission Blue family as co-champion of the False Bay Hope Spot. The Aquarium joins Cape RADD, a False Bay-based organisation that first nominated False Bay as a Hope Spot in 2019. False Bay is one of six Hope Spots along the South African coastline.

Go to: What is a Hope Spot?

“The Two Oceans Aquarium and its Foundation are excited and proud to be Co-Champions for the False Bay Hope Spot. Mission Blue’s Hope Spots are perfectly aligned with the mission of the Aquarium and the Foundation – to inspire people to act for the ocean, so that all may share in an abundant and healthy ocean for life.” - Two Oceans Aquarium Conservation and Sustainability Manager, Helen Lockhart. 

In celebration of this announcement, and as part of an initiative by Mission Blue to reignite interest in and action around the South African Hope Spots, a one-day workshop was held at the Two Oceans Aquarium on Friday 9 February 2024. Mission Blue, Dr Earle’s organisation, co-ordinated the event which drew together 85 delegates from 37 organisations, to showcase the work being done around False Bay. 

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“With 28 years of experience working in the False Bay region the Two Oceans Aquarium is ideally placed to support this wonderful initiative of hope for the ocean. This Hope Spot is a valuable opportunity to unite all the many organisations and communities working in the False Bay marine environment. Each organisation and individual is doing amazing work in research, outreach, community engagement, storytelling, education, protection and tourism – imagine how much more we could achieve if we all worked together!” - Two Oceans Aquarium CEO, Michael Farquhar 

On Saturday, 10 February 2024 the public was invited to join the celebration in a Paddle Out from Longbeach in Simonstown and in snorkelling activities co-ordinated by Cape RADD. Ocean lovers turned out to celebrate the unique marine biodiversity of False Bay. The highlight was definitely the Paddle Out in False Bay where paddlers were greeted by Dr Sylvia Earle herself.


False Bay is a significant marine environment for the Two Oceans Aquarium. Many of its campaigns, outreach and education programmes, and research projects take place in False Bay, and for good reason.

False Bay now joins other Mission Blue Hope Spots along the South African coast, including Aliwal Shoal, Algoa Bay, the Cape Whale coast, Knysna Bay, and Plettenberg Bay. Hope Spots, of which there are currently 159 around the world, are special places that have been scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean. Each Hope Spots is championed by local conservationists whom Mission Blue supports with communications, expeditions and scientific advisory.


Did you know?

False Bay is a renowned tourist attraction due to its rich marine biodiversity. It is home to over 3,500 endemic species, including endangered African penguins.
False Bay is easily accessible to those looking to experience the marine life for themselves as it supports water activities such as surfing, kayaking, scuba diving and free diving, swimming, and fishing.

“It is here that we see the value of a place that brings tourism, scientific research, and education together. The Two Oceans Aquarium holds all three as important to the development of ocean conservation along the South African coast and the world. Marine Protected Areas, such as those situated in False Bay, create an opportunity for awareness raising, a sense of wonder, and protection of what we consider to be our vital ocean” explained Lockhart, regarding the False Bay Hope Spot. 

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