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Expedition Reports.

On our 2019 expedition we recorded 117 Dirty Dozen surveys, 45 Plastic Bottle surveys and 904 Incidental Sightings.

Our findings can be read in the reports below.

1. Great Brak Report 2019

 

2. Duineveld Report 2019

3. Expedition Report 2020

 

Watch a video from the Strandloper Project Expedition.

 

 

Recovered tackle

 
     
 

Coastal Research Hike
Finding a solution for recreational fishing pollution

 

Gericke's Point

 

Extending Research range

The survey transects at our three dives sites have revealed that recreational fishing debris, particularly debris from sports and shark fishing, do result in ghost fishing. While our focus during survey dives is on snagged fishing tackle, we can't ignore the presence of plastic pollution in the water and on the shoreline.

 

To establish a regional comparison with our baseline data from our dive site, the Strandloper Project decided to conduct an expedition to compare plastic and fishing pollution along the coastline in the Southern Cape.

 

Plastic pollution

 

Its all in the name.

The name Strandloper Project was chosen to represent the early human origins in the Southern Cape. Archeological evidence indicates that early Homo sapiens lived and foraged from the inter tidal zone along the shifting coastline of the region from 164,000 years ago.

It is proposed that the rapid development of early human cognitive thought developed in the Southern Cape as a result of the high phospholipid content of their marine diet.

 

shell midden

 

Cleaning up with Data

From regular beach hikes in the Garden Route it has become apparent that certain types of plastic pollution wash up at specific locations.

By accurately mapping the location of various categories of plastic found on the hike we were able to link it to possible sources.

Plastic pollution and fishing debris were documented using our Dirty Dozen transect, Bottle Transect and Incidental Sighting app in Cybertracker.

Dirty Dozen survey team

 

Shoreline Research Expedition.

In an attempt to ascertain the extent of recreational fishing debris along the southern Cape, in 2019 the Strandloper Project initiated an annual research expedition. Hiking between 180km and 220km on each expedition, the aim is to document the location and categories of plastic pollution and fishing debris in an attempt to determine the source of the plastic and determine which river systems it flows into the ocean from.

 

The combined distance of the May 2019 and October 2020 expeditions was an impressive 415km of coastline surveyed, approximately 14% of the South African coastline. Our plastic surveys indicate that the bulk of the washed up plastic is from a terrestrial source which flushes out to the ocean from rivers. Due tot he low rainfall of 2018, 2019 and 2020, most of the rivers and estuaries between Storms River and the Goukou Rivers were closed. We deduced that the bulk of the plastic flushed into the ocean during this period was from approximately 5 rivers along the southern Cape coastline.

 

PLett

 

 

     
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