Coelacanth Painted by Dave Voorveldt and is shown courtesy of SAIAB
Why is the Coelacanth so important to Sustainable Seas Trust?
The coelacanth is a fundamental part of our history, as it was out of the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP) that the Sustainable Seas Trust originated.
SST was founded in 2006 as a long-term education trust aimed at ensuring marine sustainability and alleviating the poverty of coastal communities through education and skills development. It originated out of ACEP when it was a New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) flagship programme. ACEP was led by our CEO Dr Tony Ribbink.
At that time, ACEP was operating in the Western Indian Ocean with partners in Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania. It was felt by these countries that Africa’s coastlines were being devastated due to either need or lack of knowledge about sustainable resources.
As a result of the coelacanth programme and Dr Ribbink’s leadership, we still have very strong ties with our Western Indian Ocean neighbours (see WIOMSA).