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BTS on Taylor Steele's Newest Surf Project

30/07/2016

 
Mr Steele, always at the forefront of surf film making is at it again in what he terms as

"his dream project."
He goes on to say “I feel like my entire body of work has been building towards this production”. “This unique creative union with TGR and Garage Media came from our desire to do something in surfing that hasn't been done before. Utilising the latest technology, traveling to the far corners of the globe with my favourite surfers, and presenting in film, photos, virtual reality, and print media."

You can bet your bottom dollar it's going to change the game.

See Below the first two BTS episodes introducing his hand picked crew.


Episode 1
  - Taylor Steele



Episode 2 -
Alejandro Ajes

 

Cover Image © Mark Tipple


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Plan your surfing week at a glance with Surf Alerts

30/07/2016
1st August 2016
Pick of the bunch:  Surf First this week as Monday and Tuesday look the best bets countrywide.
SODWANA BAY Monday and Tuesday is absolutely cooking up in the KZN bush.

DBN: Monday and Tuesday are the best days this week.

COFFEE BAY: Monday and saturday light up the Coffee Bay point.

EL: Monday and Thursday look like the best bets.

PE: Monday is the day, with that leftover east swell in the bay.

CT: Monday cooks with some leftovers on Tuesday.



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Product Launch! Honey Shield Sunscreen

29/07/2016
 
The Founder of Honeyshield, Anton Kruger, on Earth & Human Friendly Suncream

Innovator and producer Anton Kruger. Bee farmer, kite surfer and now, sun screen producer.

Having spent many years in direct sunlight amidst the accompanying ocean glare, the natural question of "what am I lathering on my face every day" came up. Upon inspection and research the results ranged from mildly unpleasant to downright "WTF". This was the catalyst for the development of HONEY SHIELD.


TGS:
Howzit Anton, tell us a bit about your ocean connection?

Anton Kruger: 
About 10 years ago I started my own kitesurfing school. It was a small business and I did most of the teaching myself.This meant I was spending 8 to 10 hours per day standing in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day. I was starting to feel like a Simba Chippie... Crispy, brown and full of crinkles. Also, every time I went into the water, my eyes would burn horribly when the sunscreen washed into them.

TGS: So this was where you sought a friendlier solution...

AK: Yes. I started looking for a healthy alternative but could find none. After doing some research, I decided to try and make my own product. I am also a bee farmer so it is only natural that the base of my sunscreen came from honey and other bee products. Since then I never looked back.

TGS: Classic. So let's hear about the product itself?

AK: It took about 5 years to perfect the formula but I think it was all worth it. Our current product does not wash off in the surf, is non-toxic, tastes and smells lovely, does not burn the eyes, is very closely matched to skin colour and gives long lasting protection in and out of the water.

TGS: Any other positive effects?

AK: Another special thing about Honey Shield is that you can apply it on small cuts and grazes when you go into the water. Honey is a natural disinfectant and helps to keep the baddies out. And of course, it won't wash off. Just make sure you clean the wound properly before you do since you don't want to seal the bad stuff in.

TGS: Multi use suncream - what more do you need! When did it become a commercial possibility? 

AK: Earlier this year I went on a surf trip and reunited with an old school surf buddy at Jbay. He had a look at the stuff and immediately said we should market it. So here we are. It has been very much a team effort. It is all about friends working together and having fun while doing so. The whole process seems to flow. It is almost as if it has got a life of its own by now. It is amazing what interest people are showing in our products. We have definitely hit a sympathetic nerve in the general public.

It is amazing the interest people are showing in our products. We have definitely hit a sympathetic nerve in the general public.

TGS: Epic. Well deserved. We're being cheeky here but give us a hint of the basic ingredients...

AK: For obvious reasons I am not going to spell out the recipe over here but all I can say is it contains only good stuff. Nothing you have to wonder about or never heard about before in your life. Good, honest ingredients like honey, beeswax and coconut oil. Do I need to say anything about the rejuvenating and healing effects of Raw Cape Honey? All our products are hand mixed from only choice ingredients. (And we are proud to say that all our current staff happens to be surfers!)

TGS: Finally, give us the product range and where you foresee Honey Shield going in the future?

AK: Our sun mask is called Honey Shield and is sold in 50ml cosmetic jars for R170 each. It comes in two tints, Fair and Tan, to match your own skin colour as closely as possible.

Our lip shield is called Honey Lips and is sold in 10ml jars for R80 each. The colour is matched to your natural lip colour.

Where are we going with it? Like I said the product seems to have taken on a life of its own. Currently we are happy to just go along for the ride and see where it takes us.


MEET THE HONEYSHIELD CREW

 

Anton and sons.


Anton taking product testing to the next level. The inventor and test driver of Honeyshield


Ernst Ohlhoff. Crack photographer (he has had shots published in the ZigZag),general funny guy, lateral thinker and computer wizard. He is busy with our website at the moment.


Miranda Kruger: Graphic designer and Anton's wife, she is the reason for their awesome branding. She loves to kiteboard but currently the twins are keeping her out of the water.


JJ - Anything practical and he is your man. His greatest virtue is working out how you can do something with maximum efficiency and minimum effort. He is in charge of product mixing, labeling, distribution and surfing as much as possible.


More product testing - JJ in the drivers seat this time


Tanya spearheads the marketing and advertising dept like a pro.


The lip shield  looks delicious!


Sun mask ready to be applied to your face!



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Plan your surfing week at a glance with Surf Alerts

24/07/2016
25/07/16
Pick of the bunch: A cut off low ensures plenty of alternative east swell options countrywide this week.
SODWANA Thursday and Friday look absolutely peachy in Sodwana

DBN: It should start turning on between the piers on Wednesday arvo, then there should be waves right through to Sunday.

COFFEE BAY: Tuesday and Wednesday will be the biggest Coffee Bay point has broken in years, we’re talking a potentially massive 12-15’ here with the perfect swell direction and offshore winds.

EL: Slummies has waves Wednesday to Sunday. First with the cut off low east swell that lasts until Friday, then with a new south swell.

PE: Tuesday to Thursday is going to have lots of swell in the bay.

CT: Wednesday an unusually large short period SE swell arrives with SE wind. If you know where you are going False Bay and the Boland will have some fun options. Then next Saturday arvo a decent long period south swell fills in.



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Update: W.G Magellan - Smoke & Mirrors

21/07/2016


The Greener Surfer and associates has been diligently tracking the location of the seismic survey vessel the W.G Magellan. Operating deep into whale migration season, the survey shows no sign of slowing down. TGS contacted the owners of the vessel, WesternGeco and this was their response:

Thank you for contacting us and giving us the opportunity to respond and hopefully answer your concerns. Please find below our response.

The WG Magellan has been executing seismic 3D data acquisition in the Durban Basin under an agreed EIA and relevant permits with PASA (Petroleum Agency of South Africa). The vessel stopped seismic operations on the 18th July, due to the increasing presence of mammal activities, and is currently recovering its equipment. Please be reassured that throughout the project the vessel crew always strictly adhered to the EIA and JNCC guidelines. The vessel crew was fully staffed at all times with trained Marine Mammal Observers and passive monitoring equipment (PAM), giving us 24-hour alerts to mammal activity in the vicinity, allowing us to stop seismic activity in such cases, according to JNCC guidelines.

I hope this helps answer your concern.

Well in fact, no it doesn't. This kind of politically correct response get's the skin crawling. Let's continue to put pressure on the authorities and let them know we are watching and aware of their transgressions. 

Sign the Petition.






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AVAAZ Petition: Stop The W.G Magellan

19/07/2016
SPREAD THE WORD AND MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD BY SIGNING AND SHARING OUR AVAAZ PETITION



CLICK HERE

CURRENT UPDATE ON W.G MAGELLAN POSITION

Vessel still traveling at survey speed (3.5 knots) Looks to be heading south off Tugela mouth.



Earlier it was doing the standard 3.5knots survey speed but as per data supplied below it has stopped dead in the water...




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Fueled By Tobacco

18/07/2016

SOUTH AFRICA LEADING THE WAY IN SUSTAINABLE AVIATION

Boeing and SAA launched their sustainable aviation fuels collaboration in 2013, followed a year later by Project Solaris being announced as the first focus project to convert oil from the Solaris tobacco plant seed into jet biofuel.



Why tobacco? It’s grown in large tracts throughout the U.S and in more than 100 countries. It generates multiple harvests per year, its large leaves could store a lot of fuel, and it’s amenable to genetic engineering.



The flights used sustainable jet biofuel produced from research and development company Sunchem’s nicotine-free tobacco plant Solaris, in Marble Hall, Limpopo, which was refined by fuel refiner AltAir Fuels and supplied by sustainable jet fuel manufacturer SkyNRG.




SAA aims to have half its fleet using biofuel by 2022.





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SURF ALERTS

17/07/2016
18/07/30
Pick of the bunch: If you had to throw a dart at a map of SA, Sodwana would be where you want it to land.
SODWANA BAY Friday and Saturday look amazing!

 
DBN: Tuesday and Wednesday look fun.
 
COFFEE BAY: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday all look really fun.

EL: Thursday through Sunday looks pretty fun.
 
TO
PE: Thursday looks like the business this week.

CT: Wednesday and Thursday look like the best bets this week.



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Whale Migration in Seismic Danger

15/07/2016
Watchful environmental activists have been monitoring a seismic survey vessel off the east coast of SA. The ship, named The W.S Magellan, appears to be in direct contravention of agreements which strongly discourage surveys from taking place during the whale migration period from July to November. It started becoming “fishy” when the vessel turned off its AIS tracking system, and was found to have applied for an extension to its operating license.

Position of the W.S Magellan as of 8th July.

During the recent Ballito Pro surf event in Durban, the Sharks Board spotter planes counted up to 59 humpbacks before giving up due to sheer numbers. The W.S Magellan is operating directly in these majestic mammals path, and even humans have become aware of the booming blasts emitted from the vessels airguns.



Brief Overview: Seismic airguns are used to find oil and gas deep underneath the ocean floor. Airguns are so loud that they disturb, injure or kill marine life, harm commercial fisheries, and disrupt coastal economies. - source



A local man has written in to a TGS insider: “My son and I were diving off Ballito and we heard continual (1 every 10 seconds) thumping - the whole dive. Much louder if you lay on the sea floor.” Imagine the effect on a whales supersonic hearing? The local diver continues “it was only when I got out that my son asked whether it could be the seismic survey vessel, and to tell the truth I was shocked to consider it.” Shocked and perhaps, in an ocean mammal’s world, stunned as well. He finishes by saying what we’re all thinking, “imagine that sound could travel so far that a human could detect it 100+ km away! Those whales in migration will have no chance.”

But wait here’s the ludicrous part: The Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA) and not the Department of Environmental Affairs issues these approvals and extensions notwithstanding the impact on marine life. It seems absolutely repugnant to our environmental laws that an organization whose sole interest is to exploit fossil fuels should also be the gatekeeper of the authorization process.



Another enviro steward has studied the W.S Magellan's project BID and remarks "I see that from their operational planning they were specifically meant to avoid mid-winter as it is clearly the most sensitive time from a marine mammal migration perspective – having observers on board to supposedly intervene in the testing process means nothing when considering cetaceans such as whales communicate over enormous distances- communication that might be essential for their migration assuming they aren’t permanently deafened”

The enormity of the situation dawns on us in the shape of the vessels equipment: The particular vessel doing the 3D survey (Magellan) must have exceptionally powerful air guns as it looks from its specs that it is towing 12 hydrophone streamers that are 10 kilometres long across a width of what looks greater than 1km!!! I assume that each one of the streamers supports its own air gun meaning you have 12 blasts of 250db being fired every few seconds over a very wide area.



So what can WE do? To track the progress of the W.S Magellan you can register with ERM South Africa and in addition we can bombard PASA with emails, phonecalls and letters.Contact them here.




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Water: Crisis of Mismanagement

10/07/2016
Moving through the earth, seeping, dripping, flowing. Increasingly treated and sold as a commodity. The next world war is tipped to be fought over it. It is absolutely vital to all forms of life. Water.

Southern Africa is abundant in resources of clean air, while arable land is calculated at just 10.3% by a 2013 World Bank report, fresh water, however, is at a fragile premium. “Eight percent of the land area of South Africa generates more than half of our river flow. This 8% forms South Africa’s water source areas.” WWF

Due to a growing demand, aging infrastructure and overall mismanagement these sources are under severe threat. In addition, a lack of policy implementation, pollution and the tangible effects of escalating climate change has even led to the Democratic Alliance calling for a National Disaster to be declared. Alarm bells are ringing.

Highest temperatures in 150 years – the country responds

The El Niño weather phenomenon, exacerbated by climate change, has produced the highest temperatures recorded in over 150 years. “El Niño is a small issue that puts a spotlight on what we’ve been doing, institutionally. Poor infrastructure and the lack of sustainable governance in the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation are key factors to consider in SA’s lack of preparedness to deal with the impacts of the drought,” stated Professor Coleen Vogel from the University of the Witwatersrand.

The crisis has led to NGOs, government and volunteer drives stepping in to provide potable water to communities. A wonderful example is the civil initiative Operation Hydrate, which has distributed over 5 million liters of water to the provinces of the Free State and Eastern Cape. “Government has been providing relief to affected provinces such as the North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.” allafrica.com

The Gift of The Givers has been working around the clock providing aid and drought relief and on the 10th Feb assisted the community of Cloetesville outside Stellenbosch in the Western Cape and distributed 4000 liters of drinking water. Reason? “No access, due to lack of infrastructure”.

Crisis management disregards community engagement


But it’s not for a lack of effort. In fact, the government has rolled out many multi-million rand projects since 1999. Unfortunately, rural delivery schemes are in serious disarray because of fatal flaws in the way government implemented the projects. In one such community, Sinthumule residents in the Northern Province have crippled a R48-million presidential lead project by destroying water meters and breaching water pipes, while making illegal connections in 18 separate villages.

“A great deal was sacrificed in the interests of accelerated delivery, mainly in the form of community engagement, consumer education and a disregard for the hard learned lessons of development from around the world.” African Eye News Service succinctly filed this report way back in 1999

Let’s look at the domino effects of water mismanagement.

Agriculture takes a nosedive


In Agriculture the decrease in soil moisture results in a shorter growing period, reducing vegetable & grain production output.

Economically, the government and agro business is now forced to import and the GDP contracts. This year alone has been estimated at 5 millions tons of maize, 1 million tons of rice. Total import needs are set at 10.9 million tons, which include wheat and soya.

Socially, the public, private and government fiscus shrinks and is collectively deprived of sustenance grown on their home soil.

Ecologically, there’s an increase in greenhouse gas emissions created by transportation of foodstuffs. And so the dog chases his own tail, accelerating the effects of climate change and digging humanity into an ever deepening, self made hole.

Environmentally, the use of water for nuclear plants drastically drains water sources and kills beneficial flora and fauna. The generation of our electricity takes 49 – 120 liters per KWH.
Radioactive water has been known to leak, a la Fukushima 2011, and run into rivers and oceans. This destroys important marine organisms and life. This also poses a major risk to human beings eating from the sea again.

In South Africa 80% of our sewerage goes into the rivers untreated, which farmers use for irrigation and we eat the food.

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.” Jacques Cousteau

A quick look at global statistics shows us that, Worldwide, 884 million people have no access to drinking water from improved sources. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than a third of that number, with about 330 million people without access to safe drinking water.

Access hampered by mismanagement and corruption

A 2006 United Nations report stated "there is enough water for everyone", but that access to it is hampered by mismanagement and corruption. This seems to be the common fault line, making an urgent attempt at solutions glaringly obvious.

• A critical focus on water wise education and a socially inclusive manifesto detailing responsibilities of all stakeholders.
• Rapid integration of clean energy sources such as wind and solar.
• Continued building of water infrastructure, implementation of maintenance programs and expansion to people and industry.

The multi-layered process of providing rural inhabitants with safe, clean water is vital to our rapidly advancing country.


Become stewards in a time of great fragility and instability


There is a collective and urgent requirement for all earth dwellers to urgently and actively spread awareness and be advocates for practical use and recycling of water in all spheres. Let us become stewards in a time of great fragility and instability. There are many highly motivating factors to consider in the fight to ensure earth’s hydrological cycle is managed, but none more so than the stark reality that every living organism on earth cannot survive without it.

We only have one planet and limited resources. Common sense is not so common anymore and we are being purposefully distracted by multitudes of smoke and mirrors. Let us rise up and take the power back, now. The alternative will be staring into the abyss of a dead and desolate earth.

By Brett Shearer


References

https://www.enca.com/south-africa/short-bursts-rainfall-
wont-break-drought-say-experts
Excerpt quote from https://www.enca.com/south-africa/short-bursts-rainfall-
wont-break-drought-say-experts by Professor Coleen Vogel from the University of the Witwatersrand
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/declare-drought-a-national-disaster-da-20160114
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/extreme-weather-linked-to-el-niño-and-climate-change-1.2477954
UNEP.(2006).AfricaEnvironmentOutlook2:OurEnvironmentOurWealth.United Nations Environment Programme. Earthprint: UK.
UNESCO, (2006), Water, a shared responsibility. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2.
Wikipedia
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/sa-may-need-to-import-6-million-tons-of-maize-minister-20160115
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-amount-of-water-required-to-generate-1kwh-of-electricity-in-coal-fired-power-plants
http://allafrica.com/stories/201602120531.html
http://thisisafrica.me/drought-bites-budgets-poor/
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/operation-hydrate-delivers-4-million-litres-of-water-and-still-counting-20160203
http://www.thewaterpage.com/SAWSProblems.html
http://allafrica.com/stories/201602120531.html
http://www.thewaterpage.com/SAWSProblems.html


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Surf Alerts

10/07/2016
11-07-2016
Pick of the bunch: Its a mixed bag this week, but Sodwana looks dreamy…
DBN: Tuesday and Wednesday look like the best of a bad bunch this week.

COFFEE BAY: Tuesday through Saturday will sport fun waves in the Kei.

EL: Thursday and Saturday look like the best bets this week.

PE: Friday is the day.

CT: Next Friday looks like the main event this week.



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Plastic Not So Fantastic

03/07/2016


Plastics were developed in the early 20th century and were environmentally important, replacing ivory, tortoiseshell, horn and other plant and animal products. By the 1960's plastic had gone from being used in durable items to widespread use including disposable plastic packaging.

Every piece of plastic ever produced still remains somewhere in the earth today. In the last half of the 20th century over 1 billion tonnes of plastic was produced. This figure has already doubled in the first ten years of this century (Scientific American).
Picture

Single-Use convenience
"Think about it, why would you make something that you're going to use for a few minutes out of a material that's basically going to last forever, and you're just going to throw it away. What's up with that?" - Jeb Berrier (Bag It movie).



Most of the commonly used disposable plastic items are a convenience and the numbers are staggering. In one week we go through 10 billion plastic bags worldwide, in the USA an average of 2.5 million plastic bottles are used every hour whilst over 500 million straws are used daily!


Recycling
Recycling is important but it will never be the solution to rapidly expanding consumption. Plastic Free July focuses on refusing, reducing and reusing. Although many plastic products can be recycled, actual rates of recycling are often low – particularly away from home at events, food halls and public places. In many countries plastic is destined for recycling in third world countries with substandard conditions for some of the world’s poorest people (Story of Stuff).



Health Impacts
Increasingly people are becoming concerned about the impacts on food and beverages being stored and cooked in plastic. Common additives to plastic include BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates, both chemicals which have can harmful effects on humans. In 2013 the UN and the World Health organisation reported that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade, becoming a "global threat" that should be addressed.



Litter & the Marine Environment
Marine debris is a major issue for the integrity of marine ecosystems. Impacts to wildlife include entanglement and ingestion. It is estimated that 80% of the oceans marine debris has come from the land. More than 270 of the world's marine animal species are affected by marine debris, but the full extent of this impact is unknown.

Of the top 10 items found in ocean debris five are associated with beverages (Ocean Conservancy). Images of plastics in the marine environment are haunting (5 Gyres) and we can all become involved in the solution. By using your own drink bottle, takeaway cup and reusable straw (or refusing one) we can together reduce plastic consumption.

Our CSIRO national coastal debris survey estimates that there are about 115,513, 626 bits of rubbish on Australia’s coastline. This averages about 5.2 pieces for every person in the country! 74% of all waste we find is plastic.



Article provided courtesy of Plastic Free July.


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The Good, The Bad & The Algae

03/07/2016
 
WHO BLEW UP

The Antarctic Ozone Layer - shields the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays, is showing encouraging signs that it's beginning to heal, according to research published in the journal Science. Scientists credit the healing to an international policy set nearly three decades ago that cut the production of ozone-destroying chemicals. That agreement -- the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer -- called for the phase-out of substances including chlorofluorocarbons and halons, once present in refrigerators, aerosol cans and dry cleaning chemicals. (CNN)



Boyan Slat’s
ambitious plan to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has taken another step towards reality with its first prototype to be tested at sea. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, founded by the 21-year-old Slat, has deployed a 100-meter clean-up boom today in the North Sea in The Netherlands.The prototype was unveiled before its main partners, the Dutch government and marine contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. The system will be installed roughly 12 nautical miles off the Dutch coast where it will undergo sensor-monitored tests for the next year. According to The Guardian, the vulcanized rubber barrier will passively coral floating trash into a V-shaped cone via the ocean’s natural currents. The structure is anchored at a depth of up to 4.5 kilometers by a cable sub-system.Today is a major occasion for Slat, who came up with his highly publicized concept a few years ago when he was only a teenager.

“This is a historic day on the path toward clean oceans,”
he said.


Photo © AFP

TSHERING TOGBAY – BHUTAN Prime Minister. Deep in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India, lies the Kingdom of Bhutan, which has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating talk, Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country's mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation. What a legend.




WHO BLEW IT

1. Petroperu - Amazon oil spill. The Peruvian government dismissed the head of Petroperu, German Velasquez, and fined the state-owned energy company about $3.5 million after the third oil spill in the Amazon this year from its four-decades-old pipeline. Energy and Mines Minister Rosa Maria Ortiz said Petroperu had been illegally pumping crude through the 1,106-kilometer (687-mile) pipeline, which was supposed to have been closed for repairs following two spills earlier this year.


Photo © Barbara Fraser


2. Leopard Gin Trap
- Cape Nature responds. A couple weeks ago we reported on the leopard fiasco. Cape Nature tells their side of the story. "During the operation on Saturday the leopard managed to break free from the anchor of the illegally set gin trap and attacked the veterinarian, who sustained injuries to their left arm. The CapeNature employee, who has extensive experience with these types of incidents, had to attempt to stop the animal from attacking, and intervened. Unfortunately the SAPS and CapeNature had to shoot the leopard to end the attack on the veterinarian and to ensure that no further human lives were threatened. This incident was, thus, a case of self-defence where a human life was being threatened and the leopard’s death was tragically needed to save human lives." (Cape Nature)




3. Green Algae shuts down beaches in Florida, USA. Experts and activists say the latest algae outbreak is a direct result of runoff from the polluted waters of Lake Okeechobee. The Palm Beach Post reports that, in May, water managers discovered a 33-square-mile algae bloom in the lake. Algae samples taken earlier this month from Okeechobee contained more than 20 times the amount of toxins the World Health Organization considers hazardous. (The Post)



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Great Week of Winter Surf Ahead

03/07/2016
4th July 2016
Pick of the bunch: Cape Town looking sweet for the week ahead.
DBN: Wednesday and Thursday look like the best bets, nothing special but something to ride at least.

COFFEE BAY: Thursday, Friday and Saturday all look like solid options in The Kei.

EL: Tuesday and Thursday will have fun waves, but Saturday could be gangbusters!

PE:  Wednesday and Friday look like the days to do your surfing this week.

CT: Starting late Tuesday CT is in for a lovely run of swell with some amazing conditions. Late Wednesday and next weekend look peachy.



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