PARTNERSHIPS

Honda-powered Ocean Odyssey helping to protect the Knysna ‘Hope Spot’ and as a result sustain the health of the ‘Earth’s Blue Heart’, the very Ocean around us

Honda-powered Ocean Odyssey

Honda-powered Ocean Odyssey

Covering almost 3000 kilometres, South Africa’s rugged coastline is hugged by an aquatic realm show-stopping in its fertility. Five key areas along this coastline were recently recognised as International Hope Spots by the celebrated marine biologist and acclaimed oceanographer Sylvia Earle of the organisation Mission Blue. Knysna is one of these Hope Spots, which is hardly surprising considering it embodies everything that is wonderful about our natural world.

Sylvia calls the ocean ‘Earth’s Blue Heart’. The truth of the matter is that our blue heart is taking serious strain. The Hope Spot initiative comes amid worrying indicators regarding the diminishing health of our oceans. Less than 3% is under any formal protection and human impact is proving devastating. Sylvia and the global partners of Mission Blue remain ‘hopeful’ is that if we ALL act now we can possibly turn the tide on this disturbing trend!

Hope Spots are essentially aquatic zones around the world which have been identified as being critical to the health of our oceans as a whole because of the prosperous diversity of life they hold. Everything on earth is intrinsically linked and the health of these defined areas is crucial for “sustaining biodiversity, providing a carbon sink, producing oxygen, preserving critical habitats and allowing for certain low-impact activities such as ecotourism to thrive”. Simply put, what’s good for the ocean is good for us.

Ocean Odyssey is an ecotourism operation in Knysna which thrives because of both the natural beauty of the area and the wonderful array of life that is encountered here. The Knysna Estuary is the most significant in terms of biodiversity in the whole country – and our ocean is equally jam-packed with life.

Ocean Odyssey is committed in its efforts to help protect this universally important Hope Spot within which they operate. They are passionate about creating awareness through their highly informative tours as well as through weekly blogging about the various species that thrive here. They assist university students monthly with important research on the rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin. They make use of only biodegradable products throughout their operation and recycle all paper, plastic and glass, thus minimising waste.

All their vessels are powered by Honda, whose outboard motors comply with very stringent environmental standards, including ultra-low emissions and an air intake system that includes a silencer; both important considerations for this type of operation in terms of minimising as much as possible any impact they could have on this marine environment.

We all need to do our part to help our ailing ‘blue heart’. If we don’t…both the oceans future and ours won’t be bright.