Our Responsible Tourism initiative Shark Warrior Adventure Centre is located on Seaforth beach and is home to a colony of 150 endangered African Penguins. As a breakaway colony from the neighboring Boulders Penguin colony, they are supposedly protected as they are located within the Table Mountain National Park MPA. However, these penguins receive no protection and are subjected to daily harassment at the hands of thousands visitors wanting to get far too close due to wanting to get their treasured ‘selfie pics’. Numbers of international and local visitors have grown exponentially and this growth is putting pressure on the Penguins.
As a result, AfriOceans has become these penguins guardians as we have acted to limit illegal interactions that are clearly affecting these wild birds. With funding from the City of Cape Town, we established a fenced off area around their favorite rocks to keep unwanted ‘selfie hunters’ from invading their space and expanded it to prevent trampling of the coastal dune area.
Subsequently, the Penguin Barrier has made a huge difference to the resident penguins as well as greatly improving the visitor interactions taking place. Together with ongoing monitoring, retrieval of land and marine debris and daily positive reinforcement of the critical importance of affording the Penguins their place in the sun, this project is proving highly successful and will be continually expanded and improved.
We would gladly welcome assistance in funding of further fencing, educational signage and the establishment of a Penguin Guardian Volunteer Programme.