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Media Release: New Boat to Aid Conservation of Marine Resources

26 November 2006

Conservation of valuable marine resources in the Addo Elephant National Park received a significant boost today with the acquisition of a new boat.

The 13-metre Bobcat twin-hold Catamaran will assist in the management of marine resources, including the largest Cape gannet breeding colony in the world, on Bird and St. Croix Islands, which form part of the Addo Elephant National Park.

Park rangers involved in monitoring the marine bird species that breed on the islands will be transported to and from these islands with the new boat. In addition, the boat will be used to rescue any birds affected by oil spills and for research purposes.

Acquisition of the boat was made possible by a grant from the World Bank as part of a project that has been operational since 2004 in the Park. Funds to the value of five million rand from the World Bank grant are also facilitating the construction of a new jetty on Bird Island, which will hopefully be completed by July 2007.

The new boat has been named 'Kadouw' after a Khoisan word meaning 'river crossing where the noors plant grows', a word which is also the source of the name 'Addo'.

The purchase of this boat is central to the management of the marine section of the Addo Elephant National Park, which will be further aided by the future establishment of a marine wing of the conservation personnel, dedicated to protecting the marine resources of the area.

Future plans for the boat include aiding park staff in the management of a proposed Marine Protected Area adjoining the terrestrial part of the Addo Elephant National Park in Algoa Bay. The boat, which has a capacity to overnight at sea, will also be used for vital counter-poaching efforts.