Tiaan a mussel’s best friend

2015-07-09 06:00

MUSSEL research is not just what Tiaan Hoeben does - it is part of who he is.

Hoeben - a third year Nature Conservation student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth who is currently doing his practical year at the Supertubes Foundation in Jeffreys Bay - was born and raised in Cape Town and spent years gazing out to the sea from his childhood classrooms, exploring the coastline and sea bottom.

He has recently started to monitor the Mediterranean mussel population on the intertidal reef covering the rocky shore of Jeffreys Bay between Boneyards and Point in an attempt to establish whether the mussel population is increasing or decreasing.

Hoeben will be assisted by an international leader in coastal marine ecology, Dr Anton McLachlan, who is residing in Jeffreys Bay.

“Once the species is in decline or removed from its original habitat, the whole food chain will be disrupted and result in more species disappearing,” says Hoeben.

“Once the mussel population numbers are determined, the community can become hands-on involved in helping to conserve this species.

“The community as a whole will benefit from the research as the reef will be more attractive, featuring various oceanic life. The research will furthermore ensure a cleaner and safer environment for humans to live in, as well as help educate younger generations.”

For more information or to join the Supertubes Foundation as a volunteer, contact Hoeben at 084 622 3994 or visit their Facebook Page

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