Symposium information

The theme of the symposium for 2021 is Catalyst for Change:
Post-pandemic research on Southern African Chondrichthyans.

Dyer Island Conservation Trust in partnership with Marine Dynamics are excited to host the 6th Southern African Shark & Ray Symposium (SASRS). This biennial meeting of the academic community provides opportunity for research updates, collaboration, and inspiration. Once again the symposium will include a wide range of disciplines from spatial, physiological, genetic and molecular to conservation and socio economic studies. 

As we emerge from the pandemic the 6th SASRS will offer the chance for the African shark and ray research community to engage and share information on the status of their different projects. As usual it will include a wide range of disciplines from spatial, physiological, molecular biology, to conservation and socio-economic studies. The SASRS attracts marine biologists, researchers, students, conservationists, government officials, and tour operators and companies from predominantly sub-Saharan African countries, including Mozambique, Kenya, Namibia, and South Africa.

Save our Seas Foundation has once again provided sponsorship, some of which will be allocated to travel grants. We are honoured to follow these organisations that have hosted our previous symposia/symposiums: KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board  (2011), Shark Spotters (2013), Oceans Research (2015), South African Shark Conservancy (2017) and Two Oceans Aquarium (2019).

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust is looking forward to welcoming these and many other significant players to the 6th Southern African Shark and Ray Symposium in November.

The SASRS will be composed of a combination of oral and poster presentations, workshops, and public events – with plenty of added fun and adventure planned for attendees. Keynote presentations will be scheduled throughout the Symposium. 

Abstract submissions are open – please get your abstracts to the Symposium committee before 30 July 2021. Abstracts can be submitted to brenda@dict.org.za.

We are also pleased to announce the Scientific Committee who will assess the abstract and presentations submitted and help chair the sessions.

  1. Dr Alison Kock (SANParks / University of Cape Town)
  2. Dr Charlene Da Silva (Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment)
  3. Dr Nathalie Viljoen (Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation)
  4. Dr Clova Mabin (Save our Seas Foundation)
  5. Geremy Cliff (University of KwaZulu Natal)
  6. Prof. Paul Cowley (SAIAB)
  7. Dr Enrico Gennari (Oceans Research / SAIAB)
  8. Sarah Waries (Shark Spotters)
  9. Alison Towner Rhodes University / Dyer Island Conservation Trust)
  10. Ralph Watson (Rhodes University / Dyer Island Conservation Trust)

The Organising Committee from the Dyer Island Conservation Trust with support from Marine Dynamics is Brenda Walters, Pinkey Ngewu and Cari Roets.

The 6th Southern African Shark & Ray Symposium invites delegates from diverse disciplines and interest groups to participate to ensure meaningful and robust discussions which will deliver outcomes beneficial to chondrichthyan species, marine ecosystems and human communities. Changes in some SA shark species distributions and/or numbers have highlighted the fact that collaborative chondrichthyan research has never been more urgent. Furthermore, the global pandemic has resulted in many pressures, limiting, or preventing ongoing fieldwork, such as travel restrictions, lab closures, research that is dependent on eco-tourism, or government departments that were locked down for months. 

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust, based in Gansbaai, has since 2006 supported marine research, conservation, and education. A key objective through the research is to protect the long-term future of the local marine species, by translating knowledge into evidence-based conservation initiatives and legislation. The Marine Dynamics vessels have provided a critical observational platform as well as operational and financial support to various projects including observational, environmental, and telemetry based shark research. 

The preliminary programme includes presentations on the first two days and workshops on the third day. On the evening of the 16th November, delegates can do early registration and enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants in Gansbaai. There will be an icebreaker event on the 17th and a gala dinner evening on the 18th.

Event photos will be uploaded during the symposium.

Coming Soon.

Theme 2021 Catalyst for Change:

Post-pandemic research on Southern African Chondrichthyans

The Southern African Shark and Ray Symposium is back and this year, 2021 marks the 6th get together of this exciting bi-annual conference! The 2021 theme will be ‘Catalyst for Change: Post-pandemic research on Southern African Chondrichthyans’.

As we emerge from the pandemic, the 6th SASRS will offer the chance for the African shark and ray research community to engage and share information on the status of their different projects. As usual, it will include a wide range of disciplines from spatial, physiological and molecular to conservation and socio-economic studies.

This will be an opportunity for researchers across all levels, from student to postdocs, to deliver oral and poster presentations along with a range of interactive workshops available.

The 6th SASRS will be hosted by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in partnership with Marine Dynamics in the small fishing town of Gansbaai, just two hours drive east of Cape Town. There will be lots of activities both on water and land available, and a wide variety of accommodation.

Session themes:

Travel grants for African students 2021

Travel Grant Criteria

Travel Grants Criteria The Save our Seas Foundation will generously contribute to the travel costs of four students from the Africa continent outside of South Africa.

The below are the criteria on which the application will be assessed, and the scientific committee will be consulted. All decisions are at their discretion and will be undertaken in all fairness and due consideration for the number of applications received and for the candidates who are in the most need.

TRAVEL GRANT:
Maximum R10 000 p/p *Amount will depend on need.
Return flights and 3-4 nights’ accommodation close to the venue.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Outside SA borders within Africa – proof of registration at an African
  • University and copy of passport
  • Proof of flight quote and accommodation quote
  • Proof of current MSc/PhD registration
  • Letter of motivation – endorsed by supervisor

EXCLUSIONS:

  • Registration Fee
  • Gala Dinner
  • Return transport from Cape Town Airport to accommodation
  • Daily transport to and from the symposium venue

To apply for this contribution, please email us with the following information:

  • A letter of motivation for this funding (including details of flights and accommodation costs), written by the applicant
  • A letter of endorsement from the applicant’s academic supervisor
  • Proof of submitted abstract for oral presentation at the 6th SASRS to be submitted no later than 19 July 2021
  • Proof of applicant’s registration at an African university
  • A copy of the applicant’s passport

Please note: Applicants who are awarded a travel grant must register for one Skills workshop at the 6th SASRS.

To enquire about these opportunities, please email [email protected]

Programme

The preliminary programme includes presentations on the first two days and workshops on the third day. On the evening of the 16th November, delegates can do early registration and enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants in Gansbaai. There will be an icebreaker event on the 17th and a gala dinner evening on the 18th.

Important dates

30 June 2021Early bird registration closes
30 July 2021Abstract submission deadline
19 July 2021Travel grant application deadline
19 August 2021Abstract acceptance
31 September 2021 Final registration date
31 September 2021 T-shirt order deadline
17 to 19 November 20216th Southern African Shark & Ray Symposium
16 November 2021Welcome drinks for early arrival delegates
17 November 2021Social
18 November 2021Gala dinner at 19h00

Registration fees

ItemClosing DateCost
Early bird registration (professional)30 June 2021ZAR 1600.00
Early bird registration (student)30 June 2021ZAR 1400.00
Final registration (professional)31 September 2021ZAR 1800.00
Final registration (student)31 September 2021 ZAR 1500.00
Gala dinner
(not included in registration fee)
31 September 2021 ZAR 250.00
Gala dinner accompanying person31 September 2021ZAR 250.00
Symposium T-shirt31 September 2021ZAR 200.00

Because of constantly changing COVID-19 regulations/restrictions please advise us of your interest to attend this event as soon as possible. This will assist us in planning a successful event. Whilst online meetings have become popular, nothing beats the face to face interactional and collaboration.

Register Online

Please complete the online registering form. Send the Proof-of-Payment and abstracts directly to [email protected]

Abstracts & Presentation information

Abstract submissions are open – please get your abstracts to the Symposium committee before 30 July 2021. Abstracts can be submitted to [email protected].

Abstract submission format

Presenters may give both an oral presentation and poster presentation should they wish.

Abstracts need to be submitted as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) file with editing enabled. The submitted abstract should contain the following:

  • Presentation title (no more than 20 words)
  • Presentation format (oral, poster or both)
  • Session theme preference
  • Name/s, institutional affiliation/s and contact details or author/s
  • Name of presenter
  • Abstract of 200 to 300 words, providing sufficient information for the content of your presentation to be well represented.

If you plan on submitting abstracts for multiple presentations, please do so in seperate documents.

Oral presentations

Oral presentations have been allocated 15 minutes each. Time management is vital, so we ask that you aim to limit your presentations to 12 minutes and allow three minutes for questions and discussion. Oral presenters are urged to give more time to the objectives of their studies and scientific results obtained rather than to literature review, materials and methods and /or description of the study sites.  Presentation slides must be submitted as Microsoft PowerPoint files and compatible with Windows 10, and can be submitted at registration or before the session when they will be presented.

Poster presentations

Poster presentations will be held in a dedicated session at the Symposium. Posters will be displayed variously throughout the Symposium. Presenters should hand over their posters to the poster venue technician on the first day of the Symposium, before the official welcoming event. Standard poster size is A1 (841 x 594mm / 33.1 x 23.4in). Each poster should contain the title, author(s) name and address of the presenter (institution, city, country). If possible, attach a passport-sized photograph of the presenter to the upper right-hand corner of the poster for easy identification during the presentation session. Posters can be handed in at registration.

Keynote speakers 2021 TBC

Workshops 2021

These workshops are available to Symposium attendees who have registered for them. More details will become available closer to the time.

Second Southern African Shark Conservation Forum Meeting

In October 2019, the inaugural Southern African Shark Conservation Forum Meeting was held in Cape Town to create a platform of discussion, engagement and dialogue between government agencies, scientific experts, NGO’s and shark-based tourism who are actively working on the protection and conservation of sharks, rays and chimaeras. 

WILDOCEANS, a programme of the WILDTRUST introduced and invited participation into the Shark Conservation Funded Shark and Ray Protection Project. This second meeting is aimed at giving feedback on the project as well as once again creating a platform for dialogue and discussion with various entities who are working in shark and ray conservation and management.

Time requirement: ~240 minutes

Registration is free. Please contact Brenda at [email protected] to sign-up.