Join the wave of change by celebrating the ‘big blue’ at the global Ocean Festival in Scottburgh

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“It’s the blue heart of the planet — we should take care of our heart. It’s what makes life possible for us. We still have a really good chance to make things better than they are. They won’t get better unless we take action and inspire others to do the same thing. No one is without power. Everybody has the capacity to do something.” Sylvia Earle, veteran oceanographer

The ocean is Earth’s life source, supporting every living organism residing on land and water. Yet despite being central to life, many people are unaware of the devastation being wreaked on our oceans. To change the tide, Ocean Festivals are being around across the globe, with Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast one of the participating locations for the festival from 5 to 11 June 2023.

Organised to celebrate World Oceans Day on 8 June, themed Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing, the Ocean Festival includes a series of global events that aim to engage with communities, educate about the importance of conservation, and inspire people to take action to protect the world’s oceans.

“We are super excited to be organising some positive events in celebration of World Oceans Day, with our goal to encourage as many people as possible to acknowledge and understand the importance of the oceans,” explained Russel Symcox, The Oceans Festival Founder. “As Sylvia Earle succinctly put it: ‘No water. No life. No blue, no green.’ There’s a lot of amazing work already being done in ocean conservation, but we all have a role to play. Through the Ocean Festival, we hope to ignite a collective movement that preserves this life-giving force.”

Fast facts about ocean conservation

·  The ocean covers over 70% of the planet

·  The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen

·  The ocean is home to most of Earth’s biodiversity

·  The ocean is the main source of protein for more than a billion people

· The ocean is key to the economy with an estimated 40 million employed by ocean-based industries by 2030

·  90% of big fish populations in the ocean are depleted

·  50% of coral reefs have been destroyed


Ocean Festival activities and events

Attendees to this year’s Ocean Festival can look forward to several engaging outdoor events and activities suited to all ages. The central goal of the Ocean Festival activities is to celebrate the human connection with the ocean, and raise awareness about the importance of its health and protection.

Thursday 8 June (World Oceans Day)

Beach Clean-up at Scottburgh Main Beach from 2pm to 4pm

Mahlongwa River Clean-up from 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Friday 9 June

Ocean Festival conservation talks at Cutty Sark Hotel from 12:30pm to 2pm

MTB ride from Cutty Sark Hotel / Renishaw Trails from 2:30pm to 4:30pm 

Saturday 10 June

Cutty Sark Pro Surf Contest at Scottburgh Beach from 7:30am to 4pm

Beach Clean-Up Run/Walk at Scottburgh Main Beach from 10am to 12pm

Ocean Festival Event at Cutty Sark from 5pm 

Sunday 11 June

Cutty Sark Pro Surf Contest at Scottburgh Beach from 7:30am to 4pm

Leatherback Surfski Challenge at Scottburgh Beach and Aliwal Shoal from 8am to 1pm  

World champions Hank McGregor, Kenny Rice, and Michelle Burn have already signed up for the Leatherback Rum Surfski Challenge and, with prize money of R50 000, this is the most lucrative surfski event in the province! It’s also the first surfski event to include Aliwal Shoal, one of 41 Marine Protected Areas in South Africa and named by Jacques Cousteau as one of the world’s top 10 dive sites. For more information on the Leatherback Rum Surfski Challenge, visit @aliwalshoalsurfski on Instagram and Leatherback Rum Aliwal Shoal Surfski Challenge on Facebook.

*Please note the programme is subject to change. Please check @theoceanfestival on Instagram and Facebook, and website for the most updated Ocean Festival programme details.