A TEAM of researchers from the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) in Grahamstown has been immersed in in-depth research about ocean acidification, a phenomenon occurring in the oceans as a by-product of climate change, which is significantly impacting marine life.
Recently, a new continental network was established to promote communication and information sharing among scientists in the field of ocean acidification in Africa. This network (OA-Africa https://web.facebook.com/groups/1506916966273804/) is hosting an event called OA-DAY to be held on June 8 to coincide with World Ocean Day.
SAIAB researcher Morgana Tagliarolo explained: “The aim of this event is to promote ocean acidification research in Africa and to communicate and educate the general public on ocean acidification as it is still poorly understood despite the considerable impact it is having on our local marine resources.
“My role for this event is to co-ordinate scientists across the coast of South Africa to go out and take a pH (acidification) reading along the coast of SA and to record and share the data,” Tagliarolo said.
“In addition we are hoping to do as much media coverage and popular publication of the event to include and involve the general public in this event to promote awareness and education.”
Twenty African countries and 10 South African institutes have already committed and have joined the initiative.
Tagliarolo, colleagues at SAIAB and Rhodes students and researchers will visit the main beach at Kenton-on-Sea at 11am on June 8, where they will measure the ocean acidity.
“The success of this event will assist us as scientists in sharing our knowledge and this is imperative for the sustainable use and management of our coastal and marine resources,” Tagliarolo said.
“In addition we aim to use this event for the purposes of outreach to the public to promote scientific research and study to the young upcoming generations.