Rationale to establish (S.A.M.I)

An article published in the Sunday Times on the 25th of January 2009 noted that South African science has fallen behind in many countries. South Africa ranks below Brazil in 22 disciplines of science and below Nigeria in agricultural sciences (to which mariculture forms a part). The article ended with an interesting quote from Dr Albert van Jaarsveld from the National Research Foundation: “The quality of our research remains high, but we have been slowing in terms of quantity while the rest of the world has been growing in leaps and bounds; we’re running, but many other countries are running faster.”

Of the 23 universities in South Africa, only a limited number are dedicated to marine research. It is therefore clear that there is capacity for more research in marine science and related fields. In addition to research, formal education is just as important to economic development of our society. Most programmes in marine science and related fields are formal qualifications at universities, with few opportunities for short courses and skills development in the private sector.

The FET colleges have recently been given attention from national government, but there are few dedicated programmes considering marine science. Tourism is another reason for the establishment of S.A.M.I. as this sector is one of the most successful contributors towards the South African economy. Travelers come from across the globe to explore the deserted coastlines, white sandy beaches, diverse oceanic life and friendly people. Divers, birdwatchers and nature lovers travel from across the world for an opportunity to explore some of the finest sights South Africa has to offer.

Purpose of S.A.M.I.

It is our intention to provide the SANCOR community with information to explain the establishment of a new organisation that, although based along the West Coast of the Western Cape, considers the need to contribute towards improving the management of the marine environment in South Africa. The South African Marine Institute (S.A.M.I.) is a non-profit organisation that can facilitate a pivotal role in the community by bringing together the principles of sustainable utilisation of marine resources to sectoral role-players (communities, government and business) in a manner that will foster sound management practices that will benefit all.

S.A.M.I. is a division of the International School of Education (ISOE) foundation (Fig.1) which is a non-profit organisation whose goal is to unlock the potential of all in Africa. Therefore, it is the intention of S.A.M.I. to function on three thrusts: Education and Training, Research and Social Development. By establishing a relationship with various sectors (communities, businesses and various governments), S.A.M.I. will be a vehicle to deliver on key initiatives (education, economic and social development), in particular addressing factors important to marine conservation and science in the Western Cape.

S.A.M.I. Vision and Mission

The vision and mission of S.A.M.I. is:

Vision Statement

To be at the heart of Marine Conservation and Innovation in South Africa.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to protect the marine environment through research, education, social and economic programmes.

Motivation behind S.A.M.I

R - Research
E - Education
S - Skills development
C - Conservation
U - Unity/Utilization
E -Exchange programmes