Clean tide for sealife in local pools

2017-10-17 06:00

A recent partnership between marine biologists and City of Cape Town officials has seen the rich marine biodiversity of Kalk Bay tidal pools preserved.

The St James and Dalebrook tidal pools were recently cleaned, but with the input of local marine biologists, the cleaning was done to ensure none of the marine biodiversity found in the pools was harmed.

Eddie Andrews, Mayco member (South), says: “It was brought to the City’s attention that some tidal pools, specifically the St James tidal pool, are home to rich marine biodiversity.

“The extended period since the last tidal pool cleaning allowed for a positive growth in this biodiversity.

“These tidal pools fall within a marine protected area and the City felt compelled to adjust the standard cleaning protocol to clean the tidal pools more sensitively. Through collaboration with various interest groups and members of the public, it’s been possible to provide a facility safe for visitors to use while still enjoying the natural marine life.”

Some of the unique marine species found in the pools include anemones, worms, urchins, starfish, sea cucumbers, cuttlefish, octopus, snails, limpets, nudibranchs, pleurobranchs, hares, crustations and fish, says Andrews.

Only the tops of the walls, stairs and access points of Dalebrook tidal pool were cleaned, as these spaces have hardly any animals on them because they dry out at low tide, Andrews explains.

“The tops of the walls, stairs and access points were cleaned using scrapers to remove the algae and an environmentally friendly chemical was applied to remove any additional residue..

“The contractor used environmentally friendly chemicals so that the animals in the pool were unaffected by the cleaning and the pool was safe for swimming immediately after the clean.

“The group of volunteers conducted a search and rescue before the clean and most of the animals were easily relocated.” says Andrews.

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