Strandloper Project : Planning Expedition 2020

Time to gear up for the Strandloper Project Expedition 2020.

 
Following our inaugural research expedition between Blombos and Wilderness last year, this year we will be hiking from Nature’s Valley to Wilderness in October.
As we finalize plans, the excitement of the challenging coastline fueled by enthusiasm of both participants and supporters, we have an inclination that it is going to be epic.
 
 
 

Survey Methods.

Continuing our research protocol of surveying washed up plastic pollution and fishing debris using CyberTracker, our core aim is to get a holistic view of the extent of the threat to future marine ecology in the GardenRoute.
 
Our daily surveys will include
  1. Dirty Dozen survey,
  2. Plastic bottle survey, and
  3. Incidental surveys.
 
Strandloper Project CyberTracker app

All our data is captured using our Cybertracker app to provide detailed information with a Geospatial reference for mapping.

The expeditions core objective is to survey the Southern Cape coastline to map plastic pollution and fishing debris that have washed up on the shoreline.
 
With this information it is possible to determine the source of the plastic (ocean or terrestrial) and use the data to suggest where terrestrial plastic is leaching into the ocean.
 
Strandloper Project micro plastics

Our Dirty Dozen surveys are conducted every 5km. Three 10m x 2m transects are done at each site. We also conduct nurdle surveys.

 

Strandloper Project plastic 01

Plastic bottle transects are conducted every 2km over a 100m transect.

We also conduct autopsies on washed up birds to determine if they have ingested plastic or fishing gear.

DCIM111GOPROGOPR3026.JPG

Autopsies of washed up birds help get an idea of the incidence of plastic ingestion.

We plan to do a daily dive survey to compare recreational fishing tackle snag rates with our fixed survey sites at Gericke’s Point, Paquita Wreck and Kingfisher Creek. These will be weather dependent.

DCIM112GOPROGOPR4732.JPG

We will conduct a daily dive survey to quantify fishing tackle snag rates.

Stranded Humpack Whale

Our incidental survey includes washed up marine mammals, birds, discarded sharks, unusual items and anything of interest.

Strandloper Project BRUV survey

This year we will include a daily BRUV survey while we conduct our dive survey for a comparison of fish density and size along the route.

 

Meet the Team.

This year our core team will have six members again. Unfortunately we had to bid farewell to Louw Classens as she has accepted a research post in Palau. Stepping into her position is Pam.
 
In preparation for the expedition we have all been out and about honing our hiking skills and fitness for the epic route in October.
 
Strandloper project team Amanda Dixon

Amanda Dixon. Based in Rondevlei, Amanda is a partner in Garden Route Trail, an Avifaunal Consultant, Event Manager and much more. She has led a number of hikes in the past months to both scout sections of the route and build up fitness. Nickname: Angel Fish

Strandloper Project team Melinda Morkel

Melinda Morkel. Based in George, Mel is a partner at Build It Green. Enthusiastic, she was the first person to join the team in 2019 and is passionate about conservation, both terrestrial and marine. Nickname : Laura Croft

Strandloper Project team Lisa Leslie

Lisa Leslie. Based in Sedgefield, Lisa has Lisa Leslie Photography, is a Social media manager, photographer, artisan baker (Love and Loaf) and a marine advocate, Lisa is thrilled to be on the expedition again. Nickname : Limpit

SP Team Pam Booth

Pam Booth. Based in Sedgefield, Pam is the Environmental Manager in the Knysna Municipality. An avid environmentalist, accomplished hiker and adventurer, this will be Pam’s first expedition with Strandloper Project. Nickname :Clever Clam

Strandloper Project team Chris Leggatt

Chris Leggatt. Based in Wilderness, Chris is the owner of Eden Adventures, a fine art photographer, rock art enthusiast and marine advocate. Nickname : Calamari

Strandloper Project team Mark Dixon

Mark Dixon. Based in Rondevlei (and married to Amanda), Mark is a partner in Garden Route Trail, a marine biologist, avifaunal consultant, nature guide and marine photographer. Nickname : Mussels

 

The Route

After the hurdles that have defined 2020 we have finally managed to set our dates for our 2020 Coastal Research Expedition. We will start hiking from Nature’s Valley on the 2nd October and finish in Wilderness on the 12th October, and estimated final distance of 185km.
 
SP Expedition lite

Our daily distance will be between 8km and 15km and will include a daily dive survey when conditions are favorable.

 

Thanks for the Support

2020 has been a challenge for many, yet despite the hardships we have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received to make this expedition happen.
To those who have already pledged their support for Expedition 2020, a huge thank you, and to those that still want to assist, let’s make this another successful research expedition.
 

Follow our Expedition

For more details about Expedition 2020 check out our Website and follow us on our social media platforms.

Pledge Your Support

You can assist the Strandloper Project in their efforts to conserve marine biodiversity by making a donation on our Crowd Funding platform.

 

Strandloper Project Expedition 2020

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