14 May 2019

South Africa: Environmental Affairs Welcomes Back SA Agulhas II From Marion Island, 15 May

press release

SA Agulhas II returns from Marion Island

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) will welcome back the SA Agulhas II, as she returns from Annual Marion Island 2019 relief voyage on Wednesday, 15 May 2019, at the East Pier Quay, V&A Waterfront Cape Town.

Every year, the SA Agulhas II embarks on a five weeks relief voyage to the Marion Island to provide the South African research base with food, essential supplies, and a new team of researchers.

On-board the vessel will be researchers from various South African institutions of higher learning who spent the last 14 months performing oceanographic biological and geological research some of which forms part of international collaborative projects.

The Department's research team collaborated with the University of Cape Town's Oceanographers where they explored the Southern Ocean under the Ship-based Chief Scientist affiliated to DEA Research, Mr Mthuthuzeli Gulekana. Some of the ship based activities included using high definition cameras and videos to monitor the benthic biodiversity communities and seabed habitats, as well as collecting data to monitor macro and micro plastics in order to report on marine pollution.

There were also numerous island-based scientific research programmes, which included marine mammals, botany, geomorphology and space weather, under the island-based Chief Scientist, Professor Nico de Bruyn from the University of Pretoria.

Media is invited to cover the welcome ceremony as follows:

Venue: East Pier Quay, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Date: 15 May 2019

Time: 9h30

Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs

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