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Competition highlights the plight of our oceans

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All smiles as winners from Kingswood College show off their fishing rods and reels.

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Graeme College winners Loyiso Nyoka and Lukho Mbenyana receive their fishing rods.

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Nozi Hambaze, Education Outreach Officer at SAEON’s Elwandle Node with one of the winners, Erin Powers of St Andrews Preparatory School.

By Nozi Hambaze, Education Outreach Officer, SAEON Elwandle Node

The oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and affect us all. They generate most of the oxygen we breathe, absorb carbon dioxide emissions, provide food and nutrients, regulate climate, and are important economically for countries that rely on tourism, fishing and other marine resources for income.

Unfortunately the vitality of the world’s oceans is under threat due to human activity and climate change.

World Oceans Day

Under this year's World Oceans Day theme of “Together we have the power to protect the ocean”, on 8 June 2013, SAEON’s Elwandle Node celebrated World Oceans Day by running a competition for learners to encourage them to find out more about our oceans and take action to help conserve them.

Learners were invited to submit an artwork or poster featuring the marine environment. Entries were mostly received from learners from grades three to five.

Some posters raised awareness about the threats facing the oceans, others showed biodiversity in the marine environment. One poster had white, blue and purple colours to represent the different layers of the ocean – with white representing the shallowest sunlit waters and the polar ice cap; blue the slightly deeper ocean waters; and purple the deep waters. The unlit portions, in black, represent those parts of the ocean where the sun does not reach.

Winners

The eight winners - from St Andrews Preparatory School, Graeme College and Kingswood College - received fishing rods and reels. During the presentation of these prizes learners were made aware of the sustainable use of marine resources, such as bag limit, size and a fishing license.

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