The Table Bay takes a special interest in the health and sustainability of the Cape’s beautiful landscapes, wildlife and ecosystems. On World Wildlife Day, 3 March 2020, employees from the hotel will roll up their sleeves for a clean sweep of the historical Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in partnership with the Two Oceans Aquarium.
“Pollution is a worrying scourge that is threatening the sustainability of our environment. It has a direct impact on indigenous plants, wildlife, birds and marine life. We want to take an active role in removing litter, debris and pollutants from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, home to a diversity of ocean creatures, including the Cape Fur Seal which holds a special place in the hearts of The Table Bay family,” says Sarah Prins, PR Manager at The Table Bay.
A focus of the Aquarium’s Marine Wildlife Management Programme at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is to monitor seals and assist those which get entangled in fishing rope, fishing gear, raffia cord, box bands and plastic bags. The Marine Wildlife Management team recently spent close to 4000 hours patrolling the harbour and marinas. During that time, almost 27 000 seal sightings were recorded and 41 entangled seals were rescued.
The Table Bay’s connection with the Cape Fur Seal stems back to its very beginning. A seal named Oscar had formed an unlikely friendship with a kindhearted fisherman and they would meet every day on the pier near The Table Bay. After the fisherman’s passing, Oscar continued to visit members of the hotel’s opening team during the hotel’s construction. He is fondly remembered as the “Original Protector and guardian of The Table Bay” and a statue in his honour stands at the entrance of the hotel. Oscar’s pups still visit the hotel’s jetty to bask in the sun and are popular photographic attraction. The legend of Oscar the Cape Fur Seal, his friendship with the fisherman and how his golden statue came to be at the entrance to the hotel has also been beautifully told in a book, Oscar!, by award winning photographer and publisher, Marc Hoberman.
“Any effort to remove, reduce and recycle plastics and other debris from the harbour, beaches and ocean can help our beloved seals. We hope to inspire people in the community to be more conscious about cleaning up and conserving the environment,” concludes Prins.