Janine Basson

The future of plastics: can plastic packaging ever be truly sustainable?

Avid conservation champion and Stakeholder Relations Manager at PETCO, Janine tells us how you can make fabric out of plastic, and other marvels of plastic recycling that could revolutionise the way to deal with the plastic epidemic, and reverse the horrifying slide towards a plastic-choked planet.

BIO Janine Basson’s career is an ongoing pledge towards the protection and health of our oceans – from her work with the Namibian government as an intertidal biologist, to pioneering the sustainable seafood movement in South Africa with the WWF-SASSI Programme, to her current work with PETCO, the South African PET Plastic Recycling Company.


Riaan & Vasti Manser

There’s an Ocean between Saying and Doing #RowAnOcean

Famous pioneer and serial adventurer Riaan went on a honeymoon most newly married couples would run screaming from. He and his bride Vastri decided to embark on a romantic quest dodging hurricanes and giant seas to paddle unassisted from California across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. This is their story.

BIO In the 21st century one would think that all credible world first explorations have been done ... but they haven’t. Over the past 12 years, Riaan Manser has re-written the definition of tenacity and become the epitome of courage and determination.


Charles Griffiths

Finders Keepers

Many people think that the age of discovery is over, but new marine species are being found as frequently today as at any time in the past. Emeritus Professor and Senior Scholar in the Department of Biological Sciences at UCT, Charlie has discovered more than 100 species. He tells about his more interesting finds.

BIO Charles Griffiths was born in Kenya and educated at Blundell’s Public School in Devon, UK, then at Southampton University (UK), where he was awarded a BSc (Hons) in 1970, followed by a PhD from the University of Cape Town in 1974. He joined the University of Cape Town staff at the age of 22, rising through the ranks from Research Assistant to Full Professor and was Director of the UCT Marine Biology Research Centre for 27 years. He is currently an Emeritus Professor and Senior Scholar in the Department of Biological Sciences.


Xavier Zylstra

Biomimicry Breakthroughs

A senior educator at the Two Oceans Aquarium, Xavier is fascinated by the problem-solving potential of marine biomimicry. Find out how shark skin has inspired new developments in antiseptic surfaces, how lobsters inspired heater reflector technology, and how cracker shrimps may be the answer to underwater welding.

BIO Born and raised to be a keen Natural historian in Cape Town and graduated from UCT with a BSc in Biology and Teacher’s diploma. Taught High School Biology for over twenty years in local schools before finding my happy niche, in 2009, as a Senior Environmental Educator at The Two Oceans Aquarium.


Tim Harris

African Odyssey

Ten years ago this former DA MP and now CEO of Wesgro joined two friends on a 15 month odyssey from Cape Town to London. They quit their jobs, bought a 1981 Landcruiser and drove up the west coast of Africa, traversing 22 countries, and surfing as much as they could. He tells us about his adventure.

BIO Tim Harris is the CEO of Wesgro, the Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. Previously he was a member of parliament and the DA’s shadow minister of finance. He started surfing in Cape Town when came to UCT to study economics in 1998. He lives in Tamboerskloof with his wife and daughters.


Filipa Domingues

Weskus Dreaming

Photographer and producer at Fly on the Wall talks about the Deep Blue Middle Sea, a cultural and film project celebrating the West Coast of South Africa. Recently, the Feral Music festival was held at Elands Bay to mark a milestone in their journey of discovery.

BIO A founding producer at Fly on the Wall; Filipa brings her unique organizational and motivational skills to everything the collective does. She has two feature documentaries as Executive Producer behind her (The African Cypher 2012 and Fokofpolisiekar 2009 ) as well as numerous ‘big budget’ commercials for local and international brands and agencies. Filipa is also a highly regarded stills photographer, her photographic work, under the pseudonym Suicide Monkey, has been featured on the cover of a number of magazines and as full page spreads in National Geographic Magazine.


Tom Foster

My life with Sharks

Tom shares his love for sharks, which he began diving with when he was four years old. Slowly over the next nine years, he has got to know many sharks in the kelp forests of False Bay. Aged 13, his life changed when a three metre cow shark allowed him to ride on its back.

BIO I started diving with sharks when I was 4 years old. Slowly over 8 years I got to know all the shark species that live in the African kelp forest. I know some individual animals by their stripes and their different personalities . After 5 years of diving a few sharks approached me and lay in my arms, they seemed to enjoy my Human contact. I got to know a few of the big 3 meter cow sharks very well. One special day just before my thirteenth birthday two of these animals allowed me to gently ride on their backs through the underwater forest. This was my underwater initiation. It changed my life. I feel I'd like to tell the world how amazing sharks are, how they can be so gentle with humans if we treat them right. Sharks are the guardians of the ocean, If we keep up their slaughter there will soon be no oxygen for us to breath on earth. The survival of sharks is directly linked to our Human survival.


Epiphany ‘Scuti’ Stransom Ford

The Healing Sea

She is 13 years old but “Scuti” has a fascinating talent for educating and entertaining captive audiences about the wonders of the ocean. In this talk, she shares an intimate story of the passing of her father, and how she is finding sanctuary in the sea . Scuti was invited to do a Ted Talk in Cape Town in October.

BIO Just 13 years old, Scuti is a young naturalist passionate about exploring the rock-pools and underwater “golden forests” of the Cape. Scuti is an integral part of the Sea-Change project and is currently visiting schools in the Western Cape, spreading her message of conservation. One of her highlights was meeting Dr Sylvia Earle and being part of the ceremony which declared False Bay a Mission Blue Hope Spot (part of Sylvia Earle’s TED Wish Campaign). In October 2016, Scuti will present her own TED talk.


Mike Nortje

Denizens of the Deep

As founder of Pisces Divers in Simonstown, Mike is a veteran with thousands of hours spent beneath the surface of the sea. In this talk, by sharing his anecdotes of diving around the Cape Peninsula, he unearths some richly rewarding findings about what exists right on our doorstep - from shipwrecks to creatures to incredible marine flora.


Roushanna Gray

Ocean Foraging

Roushanna Gray lives and works at the Good Hope Gardens Nursery in Cape Point. Founder of Veld and Sea which offers seasonal and sustainable foraging classes, workshops and collaborative events. Inspired by the local edible indigenous plant availability, she has been working with the exciting flavours and diversity of Indigenous plants for the past eight years. The wide range of delicious and nutritious culinary offerings from the beautiful inter-tidal rock pools along our coastline also play a major role in her cooking and classes.