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Freecycle - Giving and Receiving at it's Best

30/08/2016
 FREECYCLE - THE ANSWER TO ALL YOUR UNWANTED GOODIES



That toaster with the broken lever?

The vacuum that no longer sucks?

The guitar with no strings?

Yep all of these and pretty much anything you can think of can be loaded and given away on...

FREECYCLE.ORG

It's a wonderful way of releasing all your unwanted stuff to a new home. A home that may have a bit less than you, and may be able to ingeniously repair and reuse the item you no longer know what to do with. There are groups all over the world and wherever you may be. There's very much a feel good element in giving away "stuff" that is just taking up space in your home and garage.

On the flip side you may find something that you've been searching for, for ages! A unique typewriter say, or an old relic that will catch only your discerning collectors eye.
 



*Disclaimer: theGREENERsurfer is in no way affiliated to Freecycle and recieves no financial benefits. We just love a good idea!


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The King, Frank, Turtle Murder

26/08/2016
 WHO BLEW UP 

Kelly Slater - still undisputed king. 

It’s been two years since Kelly Slater won a Championship Tour event, but with a commanding performance at the Billabong Pro Tahiti today, he broke his winless streak. It is his 55th CT win and fifth at Teahupo’o, but what speaks even louder than the stats is that he did it in the most dominating fashion.


Frank Solomon & Peter Hamblin
Just watch. These guys have officially cracked the Cool Ceiling.


Apple
Apple announced on Wednesday that all 14 of its final assembly sites in China are now compliant with UL (Underwriters Laboratories) zero waste standards.“It means that all the manufacturing waste from the 14 facilities is either reused, recycled, or composted,” said Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple.



WHO BLEW IT

The turtle murderers in Pennsylvania.
It happened just before 7pm on August 3 in Penn Township. Police were called for a reported explosion. Arriving officers found a small crater with what appeared to be pieces of bone fragments, biological membrane and the remains of a large turtle in the same area. Are there any words?


Refinery Fire in Nicaragua sets ocean alight
Puerto Sandino — an occasionally excellent-but-fickle rivermouth left in central Nicaragua — was just under fire. Literally at first, as a 144,000-barrel fuel tank at the Puma Energy facility here caught fire last Wednesday, sending up billows of acrid smoke into the sky. Thursday saw another tank explosion.


France Burkini Ban
Photos emerged of four armed male French police officers demanding that a woman wearing a headscarf, long sleeves, and pants remove layers of her clothing at a beach in Nice. She was given a ticket for not "wearing an outfit respecting good morals and secularism." Come on. Everybody love everybody.



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Chris Brehem Surf Art

21/08/2016
 Are you a lover of surf art, this could be your opportunity to add some Chris Brehem to your collection.

16 separate paintings all done on driftwood sold as a set for R8500.

Click here to go to the SHOP





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Olympics | Night Surf | Enviro

21/08/2016

WHO BLEW UP

Lumo Shredding at The Surf De Nuit





Wayde Van Niekerk & Caster Semenya OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS!

The boy from Bellville absolutely obliterated his competition and a 17 year old 400 meter record, while Caster cruised to victory and set a new SA national record in the 800 meter race. Go Team SA!




Lewis Pugh
Making Mumbai look lekker again! Our very own Lewis took to the plastic infested beach of Versova literally within eyeshot of the famout Bollywood film making compound and got stuck in.






WHO BLEW IT

Farmers use chemical spray killing bees in Tulbagh

Cape Town - A bee farmer in Tulbagh is counting the cost after thousands of his bees were wiped out when an aerial crop sprayer sprayed nearby canola fields with pesticide. What the actual ....?



Ocean Advocates Find Silver Linings After Rio+20 Disappointment

Although agreement was not reached on policing international waters, some firm commitments were made in Brazil. Close but no cigar. See all the details here




The Journalist Who Forgot That Women Play Tennis
While interviewing Team GB gold winner Andy Murray the journalist (John Inverdale) asked him "how ot felt to be the first tennis player to win 2 gold medals" Needless to say Murray's matter of fact response set the record straight real quick. DOPE!



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Cooking Surf Everywhere This Week!

21/08/2016
22/08/16
Pick of the bunch:  The entire SA coastline is firing
SODWANA BAY  Thursday cooks in Sodwana
DBN:  Tuesday morning looks like the best bet.
COFFEE BAY:  Great surf Monday to Friday.
EL:  There are fun waves from Tuesday through Friday, but Thursday could be epic.
PE:  Wednesday is the day.
CT:  Wednesday looks good to dust off the guns, possibly some leftovers on Thursday too.



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The 2016 Vintners Surf Classic

17/08/2016
 Vintners Surf Classic 2016


All photography © Thys Lombard


Lots of Waves, Lots of Wine at the Annual Vintners Surf Classic

Friday 12 August saw the 17th annual Vintners Surf Classic run in excellent conditions just outside Jongensfontein on the Cape south coast. The ocean was full of surprises - from the good in great surf competition conditions through the day to the not so good in a close encounter with a Great White.

It was a wind-free day and the waves kept coming for the 50-plus field of surfers vying for the title of best winemaking surfer. While the competitors battled it out, families could watch from the top of the hill overlooking the bay, where great music and food was free flowing, not to mention some fine bottled refreshments.

At the end of the day, Gunter Schultz once again won the 2016 Vintners Surf Classic Seniors division. Bevan Newton Johnson took the "Ballies" (veterans) title and the Juniors title went to Christo le Riche. Sarah Havard won the Women's title, while another prize went to a previous women's winner, Trizaan Barnard, this time for "Wipe-out of the Day".

The awards evening was, as ever, filled with good humour and most importantly, incredible wines from some of the top winemakers of the Western Cape. Wetsuits, surfboards and watches made up the amazing lucky draw prizes. The "Stand up" prize went to knee-boarder Sebastian Beaumont who stood up to take part in the competition; while the "Head Cruncher" award went to Gordon Newton Johnson for a wipe-out that led to a knock to the head on the rocks.

But most deserved was the "Close Encounter" award that went to Nick van Zyl for his close shave with a Great White shark while free-surfing in a bay next door. The fact that he was there to collect the prize meant the dramatic event was fortunately a memorable story in the end.

For many years now, the "Big Red", a magnum of red wine made up of wines contributed by the participating winemakers, is the icon of the Surf Classic. This year saw an auction of a Kelly Slater-autographed bottle of Big Red raise over R10,000 for the Surf for Life charity.

"It was a great event and we are proud to associate ourselves with South Africa's top wine makers," commented Grant Stringer of Reef SA. "The Reef Vintners Classic is a true celebration of the spirit of surfing and friendship."

The organizers come with true credentials and include Gunter Schultz, Christo Le Riche, Miles Mossop, Johan Reyneke, Sebastian Beaumont and Steve Rogers.
This is an event that South African winemakers book into their calendars a year in advance.

"No wine tasting, marketing or sales trip can come in its way. It restores the soul. Keeps us loving what we do; both making wine and surfing," says Sebastian Beaumont on behalf of all the organisers.


"A weekend like this where we had 3 days of very cool surf, was incredible. The contest just gathers the gang and we all have a great time hanging out. I don't know of another contest like this in the wine world. Best wine competition I have ever entered and all it costs is a few bottles of wine. "

The organisers and surfers are immensely grateful to the generous sponsors:
Reynolds Rocha Wine Technologies; Reef SA; Thales Wine Services; Winetech; Consol Glass; White Space Design; WinPak; Citizen Watches; Cool Dandy; Cult Premium Bottling; Vineyard Connection; Rolling Wood; Country Digital; BOS Ice Tea; Thys Lombard Photography; The Best Tile Company; Spec Systems.



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From the Ocean to the Mountains

15/08/2016
 OCEAN CHILD Drakensberg Yoga Hiking and 4X4 adventure 26-28 August.

Presented by John McCarthy and Jennifer Chapman.

The weekend

Based in and around the Sani Pass area of the Southern Drakensberg, this yoga, hiking and 4X4 adventure is for the yogi who loves drinking from and swimming in mountain streams, breathing beautiful fresh air and reveling in the magnificence of the great out doors.

It is designed to combine adventure and exercise, with the practice of yoga and meditation in the beauty and tranquility of the Drakensberg World Heritage Site.

We stay in a cabin at the foot of the Little Berg which overlooks a beautiful lake and the magnificent Drakensberg escarpment.



We depart The Astanga Studio in Kloof at 2pm on Friday afternoon.

We arrive at our cabin at 4:30pm.

From 5-6pm on Friday evening, there is a yoga workshop focusing on the importance of breathwork and the activation of bandahas. This is followed by an early dinner and bed.

On Saturday we wake up with the birds and flow through a Vinyasa practice to get our bodies ready for our hike.
After breakfast we set off to do the first day of the Giant’s Cup hiking trail. This is a mild to moderate 13km hike from the Sani Pass Road to Cobham. The trail runs along the contour path of the lower Drakensberg via Ngwena Pool on the Gxalingenwa stream. The hike concludes at Pholela Hut. From there transport will be waiting to ferry us back to our chalet.



The late afternoon can be spent relaxing around the lake.

We have an early dinner then bed.

On Sunday we wake early to a gentle warriors vinyasa to heat up the body and ready us for our great adventure up Sani Pass
After breakfast we set off to drive to the top of Sani Pass in 4X4’s. This is an extreme drive and a magnificent adventure all on it’s own. It is one of the few places you can drive up onto the escarpment and into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.

We park at the Lesotho border post and set off to hike along the escarpment to the famous Hodgsons peaks. These are the twin peaks that make up the breathtaking Giant’s Cup View. We will summit the southern peak from the Lesotho side. This is the higher of the two and stands at 3256m above sea level. This is a round trip hike of between 12-14km. The majority of this hike is moderate, but there is one section near the top that involves a scramble up a 20m gully. Though it is short it should be considered severe. The view from the top is a 275 degree view of the Drakensberg escarpment and KZN. Depending on the weather we may spend some time in quiet meditation in what must surely be one of the most magnificent wilderness settings on this planet. We return via the border post and an obligatory stop at the highest pub in Africa. Thereafter we descend Sani Pass back into South Africa and head for home.



Weather Caveat
We may switch the days around to give us the best shot of hiking in the high berg and sumitting the southern Hodgson Peak. We may also change the hike if weather conditions are too dangerous to hike safely along the top of the berg. In that case we’ll hike up Sani Pass instead. This is an extreme 8km hike to the top.



Catering
Plentiful, delicious and healthy vegetarian. All food and snacks included in the price.

Accommodation
Dorm style, four people to an ensuit room. Everyone has their own bed.

Cost is R1910 pp
This includes all food accommodation, transport from Kloof, hiking drop off’s and collections, 4X4 usage, yoga and guiding.

There are only six slots available. First come first served. Full payment confirms your slot. See banking details below.

What you need to bring
Your yoga gear.
Comfortable hiking gear, with good walking shoes. Expect temperatures on the escarpment to be below zero.
Wind/weatherproof jacket.
Gloves.
Beanie.
Waterbottle.
Daypack.
A valid passport and most importantly a sense of adventure!

Enquiries to john@oceanchild.co.za or Jena@astanga.co.za

John McCarthy OCEAN CHILD
Standard Bank
Cheque: 402086007
Code: 051001
IBAN/SWIFT code: SBZAZAJJ





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Plan your surfing week at a glance with Surf Alerts.

14/08/2016
©15/08/16
Pick of the bunch: Slummies takes the cake this week.
SODWANA BAY Tuesday is the day.

DBN: Tuesday and Saturday are the best of a bad bunch.

COFFEE BAY: Monday and Tuesday are the days.

EL: Monday, Tuesday and Sat all look good in Slummies.

PE: Monday morning is your best chance of surf this week.

CT: Get on it first thing Monday!



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Jordy Smith in Collecting Dust

14/08/2016
 The best surfer ever exported by South Africa, Jordy Smith, has released a new edit. If you find any descriptive words other than a four letter expletive please let us know. Go Jords! 



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Old School Style - New School Prizes

13/08/2016
FOUR SEASONS MASTERS TROPHY TWIN, SINGLE AND THRUSTER EVENT!
Dorian looked in good form all day finding a number of long Sultans tubes and unleashing his furious rail game on the clean four-foot walls on offer all day. The big-wave charger was able to post an excellent heat total of 16.24 (out of a possible 20) to overcome fellow Hawaiian Jamie O'Brien in the Final.



SLATER OFFERS YOU THE RIDE OF A LIFETIME
Partnering with Omaze and WSL PURE, the World Surf League’s philanthropic division, Slater is granting two lucky fans a weekend trip to the Surf Ranch. To enter, contestants can make donations ranging from $10 to $50,000 (more money = more chances), with the proceeds going to WSL PURE’s environmental efforts to sustain a healthy ocean. The four main focuses include: Oceans & Climate; Ocean Health and Ecosystems; Carbon Uptake and Ocean Acidification; and Sea Level Rise and Coral Reefs.
 


THE HAWAIIAN WATERMAN HALL OF FAME HONORS LEGENDS
Celebrating those who help perpetuate the spirit and legacy of Duke Kahanamoku," notes Bill Pratt, co‐chair of the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame.

New inductees:
Bruce Blankenfeld is one of the most influential figures in canoe paddling and Polynesian Voyaging Society. He is a distinguished pwo navigator and captain of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea and was the president of Hui Nalu Canoe Club for more than 20 years.

Diane Stowell is an All-America swimmer at UCLA. She went on to claim more than 100 national and international titles in swimming. Stowell was also a dedicated volunteer in her community, serving on numerous charitable boards and serving as a counselor in the Hawaii prison system.

Paul Strauch, Jr. was one of the most influential figures in the world of surfing back in the 1960s. Founder of the "Cheater Five" and the first to use bottom turns in large waves, Strauch won numerous surfing titles and was a member of the prestigious Duke Kahanamoku Surf Team.

Sharron Weber is a two-time world surfing champion and member of the Surfing Walk of Fame. Weber is also known today as a leader in her community. Weber was recently bestowed with the prestigious Kauai Living Treasures Award, given for her lifetime commitment and kokua to her community

WHO BLEW IT?

THE TOP 10 USA ASSET MANAGERS - PALM FOREST OBLITERATION

A recent report by Friends of the Environment sheds light on the top 10 US investors and their involvement in financing conflict palm oil and urges them to commit to human rights. To increase pressure on the top 10 firms, Friends of the Environment is campaigning to urge them to #DefundDeforestation by adopting four pillars of responsibilities.

PLASTIC CONTINENTS
Plastic pollution is now recognized as a global problem, representing a threat to marine biodiversity. In particular, this surface drift acts as a means of transport for the viruses and bacteria that the spread across the oceans. Time for a global ban on plastic?


RWANDA'S DEADLY METHANE GAS
GOTCHA! Well not really. This is a good news story made from a bad news gas! Deadly methane gas from Rwanda's Lake Kivu is turned into a lifeline after being used to generate energy, in a country where only 17% of the population has access to electricity. Pretty awesome huh?




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Winners, Losers, Snoozers - BMT Rankings Baby

07/08/2016
 Who Blew Up?
  


Brazilian Rips to $100K Victory at the US Open


“Filipe Toledo became the smart-money pick to take the Vans US Open of Surfing the moment the Surfline surf forecast was locked in for the week,” wrote the WSL. Yup the wunderkind of small wave shredding does it again.

Here's why:

 


Bruce Irons - The Tube Wizard Just Doin' His Thang

One of the worlds most enigmatic and publicized surfers never to make it happen consistently on a competitive level. Watch him pull a Houdini and whip up a perfect 10 in the Padang Cup, Indonesia.




The I.O.C - Surfing headed for the 2020 Olympics baby!

Confirmed! To borrow from the WSL - It's On! This is great news because why? Well anything that gets Olympic status gains massive benefits, and heck it's going to be insane to watch the shredders representing their country on the biggest stage in sport.



Who Blew It?

Hawaiian Airlines - Boycotted by Bob Hurley & Slater & Many Sure to Follow

Shot's fired! Bob and Kelly are up in arms about Hawaiin Airlines pricey surfboard policy. Strictly 2 boards per person! Who even takes only 2 boards - especially when traveling to and from the Big Island? H.A has since responded here


Mentawai Regional Government

More policy fails this time in the Indonesian archipelegos of the Mentawai Islands. COLLECTION LEVY SURFING is being introduced for surfing in Mentawai with the amount of Retribution For surfer Abroad Rp 1,000,000 per person per stay (15 days) which equals to about $100 US. Small price to pay for paradisical perfection or a rip off? you decide.


Oh No Rio - Filthy Water Puts 1,400 Olympic Athletes at Risk
Some 1,400 athletes are at risk of getting violently ill in water competitions, and the AP's tests indicate that tourists also face potentially serious health risks on the golden beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. Clean up BRA!




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WInd Energy - A bubble of Hot Air?

07/08/2016
 
'..... it would break the laws of physics if emissions and fuel use didn’t go down when wind was contributing.' - American Wind Energy Association

By Mark Kirk



Is wind energy, endorsed by co-sponsors BirdLife South Africa & Investec, a bubble of hot air?

In August 2012 Investec & BirdLife South Africa appointed Samantha Ralston to 'actively participate in the renewable energy sector' - I assume to provide a responsible framework. BirdLife South Africa, prima facie, acknowledged a possible [?], negative impact on birds. Investec Power & Infrastructure finance renewable energy projects. [Investec - Sustainability & BirdlifeSA]

From the BirdLife South Africa site [BirdLife South Africa] the following -

'The need for cleaner energy has resulted in a burgeoning renewable energy industry in South Africa. At BirdLife South Africa we acknowledge the predicted shortfall of energy [(sic) - presumably 'energy'] supply versus demand. We also recognise the need to include more renewable energy in our energy mix if the threat of climate change is to be reduced. BirdLife South Africa therefore supports the responsible development of a renewable energy industry in South Africa.'

Good intentions, clearly, but a little naive, perhaps. Let's cut to it. We know birds are killed by wind turbines. In fact a median estimate suggests some 300000+ birds are killed in the US each year [Smithsonianmag.com]. Seabirds are at greater risk.. [BirdLife International] To conclude before we begin and without being disparaging, our co-sponsored outdoor advert 'without impact' is misleading, if not high-grade BS. A claim of 'with minimal impact' is more accurate but let's not get into the semantics of language.

BirdLife makes reference to the burgeoning renewable energy industry & this is key. The emphasis on burgeoning is mine.


What do we mean by wind energy?

- Wind energy is a form of solar energy. Wind energy (or wind power) describes the process by which wind is used to generate electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. A generator can convert mechanical power into electricity. [openei.org]

What are the purported benefits of wind energy? - (verbatim per the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm

Wind is a clean, renewable energy source. There are many environmental benefits of wind energy, including:

Water saving – wind energy does not consume water during the energy generation process, it also helps preserve scarce water resources.
Reduced carbon emissions – one megawatt of wind energy equates to 2600 fewer tons of carbon emissions when compared to coal-fired energy generation.
Wind energy generation emits zero air or water pollution.


With Regards to Jeffrey's Bay Wind Farm


Annual CO2 emissions avoided | 420 000 tonnes

Project lifetime CO2 emissions avoided | 8 400 000 tonnes

Water savings | 590 000 000 Litres per year

South Africa's Eskom  reached full capacity [annual 233000MWh or approx. 95000 homes] at its own Sere Farm; a wind farm near Vredendal in the Western Cape.

*For interest - Eskom's published map of Sere uncannily resembles BirdLife's own published map of the nearby Olifant's River Estuary [Olifants-river-estuary], an IBA [Important Bird Area].

Other local projects include the wind facility near Darling, in the Western Cape. The same benefits highlighted earlier are also claimed here.

That's all good & well if you take the data at face value. Unavoidably bias is inherent in most endeavours; good & bad. If you refer back to the benefits highlighted by the Jeffrey's Bay Wind Farm, emphasis is placed on saving CO2 emissions.

Forbes - wind-energy-carbon published an article on a real-world study by Bentek Energy [now Platts], an energy analytics firm. The study concluded that wind-energy's carbon-reduction figures were, in many cases, grossly overstated and as a consequence, too expensive to be commercially scaled. Most [all?] proponents of renewable energy refute their conclusions [Quora]. In context the Bentek study was sponsored by the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States... Debated inaccuracies notwithstanding, Bentek concentrated on the emission-savings of coal plants, where the plants are continually [inefficiently] cycled as back-up on the variability of wind production. This is important.


Will we ever learn to work in harmony with nature?

The wind industry's claim on emissions-savings relies on two assumptions:

  1. The vagaries of wind does not impact coal-fired facilities.
  2. The reduction in production from coal-fired plants = a proportionate drop in emissions.
Both assumptions are false.

Base-load energy production [**I'll get to this in a minute] ie: coal & nuclear, are designed to be efficient at optimal levels of production. Emissions increase as production & efficiencies decline. Wind production fluctuates with wind speed. To balance the grid other generators work harder. This increases emissions to the point where savings from wind may, in fact, be negative.

**Base-load production is the high-efficiency production of energy, at a constant rate and usually at low cost. Base-load plants don't usually adjust output to comply with increased consumer demand. Peaks or spikes in demand are often provided for by smaller, less efficient peaking power plants eg: gas & wind. Caveat - renewable energy sources are, however, sometimes incorporated into the base-load production.

Jeffrey's Bay Wind Farm CO2 Savings Claim

8 400 000 tonnes of CO2 over the project's life-cycle. Most often those figures are calculated on displacement ie: where each wind kw-hr eliminates the emissions from a coal-fired plant generating the same kw-hr. BUT this almost always ignores the CO2 emissions that are created [back-up] to compensate for variance in wind production.

The problem, generally, is a lack of production control. This leads to the prevalence of / need for backup plants - almost always running at lower efficiencies & usually at surprisingly higher emissions.

Eskom's Brian Molefe confirmed, very recently, that the utility was reviewing the role of renewable energy [Eskom - review] for the same reasons I've outlined above. It's an interesting take & the criticism of Brian's position has been fierce... Notwithstanding, intuition & reality are not always interchangeable.



BirdLife South Africa's commitment to mitigating bird mortality


We know collisions kill birds. That fact has been widely reported by the mainstream media & by BirdLife International themselves. An improperly placed turbine can & does have a disproportionate impact on birds including key species. Sensitive habitat destruction is also a valid concern.Understanding the impact on the birds themselves and on the habitat as a whole, I would assume, is key to BirdLife's monitoring process. In addition, newer turbines are purported to have less direct impact on flying birds & that's good news of course.

What is not as broadly reported is the negative effect of turbines on bats. In addition to collisions, bats suffer fatalities without coming into contact with the blade itself. At close quarters the air is forced out of their lungs, quickly enough, for the bats to suffer a pulmonary edema.



I concede the merits of progress & the burgeoning energy demands of an unchecked population. I understand profit and the incentive to innovate. What you may not know, however, is that the Jeffrey's Bay Wind Farm is owned by a consortium which includes local financial investment companies. That's fair enough of course. If opportunity doesn't knock, build a turbine...What I don't like is the disingenuous claim that wind proportionately reduces carbon emissions and let's be honest; that's the sales pitch.

w.r.t our two co-sponsors & their endorsement of wind energy, two things come to mind. Firstly I'm not convinced that Bird'Life' South Africa has the mandate to publicly celebrate a product that in itself is factually indefensible however well it's done. Secondly, whilst Investec's motivations are an internal matter, I assume their CSR models are broadly relevant. Nobody likes a spoilsport.

As for me I enjoy my coastlines & mountains free of whirly-junk. What's wrong with that?



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Plan your surfing week at a glance with Surf Alerts.

07/08/2016
8TH AUGUST 2016
Pick of the bunch: Slummies and Sodwana are the spots this week.
SODWANA BAY  Wednesday and Thursday are peachy up in the bush.
DBN:  Tuesday and Friday look like the best options between the piers.
COFFEE BAY:  Friday, Saturday and Sunday are all fun options in the Kei
EL:  Monday is firing!
PE:  Keep an eye on Friday afternoon as the wind switches.
CT:  There should be some fun options from Wednesday onwards this week.


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Dredging Plan Threatens Durban's Marine & Bird Ecology

04/08/2016
Durban's Huge Harbour Expansion Threatens Sensitive Estuarine Ecology

By Tony Carnie



PLANS to dredge huge volumes of sand off the Durban coastline to allow further expansion of the harbour have rung alarm bells among local fishermen and ecologists.

Transnet has announced proposals to suction dredge up to 4.5 million cubic metres of sand from the old dredging mounds south of Durban harbour and use this material to expand container handling and berthing facilities, to lengthen North Pier and build a new passenger terminal.

Despite being the largest shipping container port in the country, Durban Bay remains an important nursery for a wide range of juvenile sea fish and also home to a wide range of marine and estuarine creatures and birds, including Fish Eagles, ospreys and Goliath Herons.


Several ecologists are concerned that any further infilling of the harbour’s shallow water surface areas could threaten the bay’s ecological health, while local paddleski fisherman Johnny Vassilaros said he was worried that turbidity (clouds of fine mud and sediments) from the dredging and dumping could smother fish and marine life off Vetch’s reef, as well as inside the main harbour.

Vassilaros said that sand previously dumped to replenish the beaches at Vetch’s and uShaka often produced plumes of dirty water.

Massive Environmental Concerns


Durban estuarine ecologist Nicky Forbes said she doubted that the dredge material would have fine sediments. It was more likely to contain larger and much coarser sand.

Instead, the biggest concern was that further incremental infilling of shallow water areas could destroy some of the richest feeding areas for birds and fish.

“It is these small remaining shallow water environments, mud banks and soft edges of the Durban Bay that contain all the worms, prawns, crabs and other small invertebrates that form the basis of the food chain for marine and bird life.

“They are absolutely critical. We run the risk of losing Durban harbour as a functional estuarine system if it is pushed past a certain ecological tipping point.” Environmental consultants acting for Transnet sent out a notice last week giving brief details about the plan and invited interested groups to register their concerns as part of a mandatory environmental impact assessment process.




Nemai Consulting says in a background information document that the sand would come from two old dredge mounds to the east of the main Durban harbour mouth. The two mounds were dredge material from the harbour during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

According to Nemai, Transnet expects container traffic to grow from the current volume of 2.6 million TEU (20ft equivalent units) annually to around 4.2 million TEU along the Durban-Gauteng corridor over the next 10 years.

While Durban harbour had capacity for 3.4 million TEU, the existing container handling facilities needed to be optimised and expanded to prepare for future growth.

This would involve reconfiguring the existing Durban Container Terminal and expansion of Pier 1.

Other major expansion projects include deepening and lengthening the North Quay, reconstruction of shipping berths at Island View and Maydon Wharf and the development of a new dedicated passenger terminal.

Nemai said at least three specialist studies were needed. These included a marine assessment, a maritime archaeology impact assessment and a sand-winning site wave study.

For information, contact Vanessa Stippel of Nemai Consulting at 011 781 1730 or vanessaS@nemai.co.za.


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