Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
ActionsUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).Open Menu
SAMSS 2022 - Abstract submissions are now open!UKZN and the KZN Sharks Board, on behalf of SANCOR

20-24 June 2022  | Durban |  Submit abstracts by 31 January 2022

The 17th Southern African Marine Science Symposium will be held during 20 - 24 June 2022. The conference is themed "Marine Science for the Future South Afroca". The conference aims to explore the links, continuity and changes in marine science of the past and present, with emphasis on how the science being done today will determine the 'future pasts' of our marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them. The conference is formally hosted by UKZN and the KZN Sharks Board, on behalf of SANCOR (South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research). Details on abstract submission are available via the website:

Postponement of SAMSS2020The conference is formally hosted by UKZN and the KZN Sharks Board, on behalf of SANCOR (South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research)

The Southern African Marine Science Symposium (SAMSS) that was scheduled for 6-9 July 2020 in Durban has been postponed. Please refer to the note below from the Local Organising Committee (LOC).



SAMSS2020 postponed


SAMSS2020 is postponed to July 2021 due to the circumstances connected to the coronavirus COVID19. The current conditions are not conducive for the organisation of the conference, nor will all delegates be able to find the necessary time for preparation amidst current and possible future disruptions. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) therefore opted to postpone.


Since delegates might decide to change their abstracts, the LOC has decided to start the abstract submission anew. We aim to open abstract submission in September 2020, and close submission mid-January 2021. All dates will be announced in due course.


In the meanwhile, the LOC extends their thanks to each person who contributed to the 491 abstracts that were submitted. We hope that you will be able to join us in 2021!



Yours sincerely,



The SAMSS2020 LOC:

Ursula Scharler

David Glassom

Angus MacDonald

Nicola Carrasco

Tshoanelo Miya

Gan Moodley

Matt Dicken


SANCOR 2020 Awards – Call for NominationsSANCOR

Every three years the South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR) awards excellent performers in science in the marine and coastal environment.  Nominations are hereby invited for these prestigious awards.

Click here for information on how to submit a nomination.

Closing date: 2 March 2020.

Southern African Marine Science SymposiumThe conference is formally hosted by UKZN and the KZN Sharks Board, on behalf of SANCOR (South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research)
Monday 6 July: Workshops / Courses.
Tuesday 7- Thursday 9 July: Conference

Venue: Elangeni Hotel, Durban

Theme: Vision 2020: Marine Science for the Future South Africa.


This conference therefore aims to explore the links, continuity and changes in marine science of the past and present, with emphasis on how the science being done today will determine the ‘future pasts’ of our marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them.

Call for applications: Marine & Coastal Research 2019NRF

​The Marine and Coastal Research funding instrument is a discipline-specific funding instrument which supports research and associated human capacity development in the coastal and marine sectors in South Africa.  The research themes addressed are based on the Marine Research Plan (2014-2024), and are underpinned by the overarching South African Marine and Antarctic Research Strategy (MARS) of 2016. The Marine Research Plan focuses on understanding the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystems functionality, the relationships between human pressures and ecosystems, and the impact of Global Change on marine ecosystems.

NRF Closing date 2 Jul 2018

Please be aware of internal closing dates (i.e. DA approval of your submission) at your institution.

SANCOR awards excellence in marine scienceSANCOR

The South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR) held its triennial awards ceremony at the gala function of the Southern African Marine Science Symposium on 6 July 2017 at the Port Elizabeth Boardwalk Convention Centre.

The aim of the awards is to recognise distinguished scientists, technicians, science communicators and emerging researchers in the marine and coastal sciences.

We are delighted to honour and acknowledge the following recipients:

Marine & Coastal Communicator Awards

Ms Claire Attwood (Fish Media)

Ms Jone Porter (uShaka Marine World)

SANCOR Young Researchers Award

Dr Sarah Fawcett (University of Cape Town)

Dr Romina Henriques (Stellenbosch University)

Derek Krige Medal

In memory of the late Mr Barrie Rose

Gilchrist Medal

Prof Peter Ryan (University of Cape Town)

Prof John J. Bolton (University of Cape Town)

Click here for the article and citations.

In Memory of the late Dr Peter ZoutendykSANCOR

Zoologist and oceanographer, Dr Peter Zoutendyk passed away suddenly on 15 June 2017. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Hilary and his children Simon, Karin, Sebastian, Matthew and their families.
Prof John Field has written a personal memoir in honour of Dr Zoutendyk.


Share your event for World Oceans Day - 8 June 2017World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day takes place on 8 June 2017. If you are organizing or participating in a marine focused event for World Oceans Day, please let me know and we will keep the local SA community informed and share it on SANCOR’s social media platforms:  

·        Twitter
For more information and resources, visit

The main conservation focus will be on plastic pollution prevention and cleaning the ocean of marine litter.
Why do we celebrate World Oceans Day?
  • To remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.
  • To inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean.
  • To develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean.
  • To mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world's oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.
  • To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.

Resources for Educators

Events on 8 June 2017:

  • SASSI Twitterchat at 12pm
  • The Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (CMR) at NMMU will be announcing the winner of their student photo competition.
  • Exciting line up of events at uShaka Sea World.
  • Suggested classroom activities from the Marine and Coastal Educators Network (MCEN).
L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards 2018 EditionL’Oréal-UNESCO

The L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO invite you to put forward the names of extraordinary female scientists for the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards.

The 2018 Awards will designate five outstanding researchers in the Life Sciences, each working in one of the following regions: Africa and the Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America & North America.
The Awards will be presented in March 2018 in Paris to the five women selected by an international jury for their outstanding contribution to scientific advancement. Each of the Award Laureates will receive €100,000.

In order to nominate a candidate, please follow the registration procedure on the For Women in Science platform accessible via From the site, you will be able to upload all the necessary documents in order to submit the nomination. Please note that nomination files must be submitted by midnight on June 16th 2017 (France GMT/UTC + 2h). Only completed nominations received through the platform by this deadline will be considered.
More information and nomination forms available on

Early registration discount for SAMSS until 31 MaySANCOR and NMMU

Southern African Marine Science Symposium (SAMSS)

4-7 July 2017, Port Elizabeth
Early registration discount rates apply until 31 May 2017


Southern African Marine Science Symposium, 4-7 July 2017SANCOR

Southern African Marine Science Symposium (SAMSS)

4-7 July 2017

Port Elizabeth


Twitter: #SAMSS2017

 The Southern African Marine Science Symposium is a premier event on the SA academic calendar show-casing and promoting marine science, enhancing networks and strengthening collaborations. SAMSS 2017 is hosted by the South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR) and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).

Abstract submission date extended to 15 March 2017.
Workshop: Adaptation to Climate Change in SA Marine Fisheries & Aquaculture SectorsDAFF

Click here to find out more about this workshop on:

Identifying and Co-ordinating Research as an Adaptation to Climate Change in the South African Marine Fisheries and Marine Aquaculture Sectors, 14-16 March, Cape Town.


Send Expressions of Interest by 10 Feb​.

Sale: Limited Offer on WIOMSA Books!WIOMSA

WIOMSA, as a knowledge organization, has over the years produced a number of publications in the form of general knowledge books, manuals and field guides. These publications cover different topics of both educational and research interest such as climate change and its impacts, mangrove ecosystems, marine mammals, and fishes and many other useful topics. Some of these publications below are on sale at the WIOMSA store: .  Download the full advertisement.

Latest SANCOR AnnouncementsSANCOR

Click here to open announcements for 24 January 2017​.


To post your announcement, please send an email to


Nominations Invited for SANCOR AwardsSANCOR

Every 3 years SANCOR awards excellent performers in science in the marine and coastal environment.  Nominations are invited, providing an opportunity to acknowledge the sterling efforts of our deserving colleagues. Click here for more information on the various categories. Send your nomination by 28 Feb.


Integrated approach vital for fisheries managementIIASA

​A comprehensive perspective on evolutionary and ecological processes is needed in order to understand and manage fisheries in a sustainable way.

Evolutionary and ecological factors interact to influence the growth and size of fish, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). The study focuses on Northeast Arctic cod, currently the world’s largest cod stock.
Previous work by IIASA scientists and colleagues has shown that overfishing can lead to evolutionary changes in fish populations—because fishers usually harvest larger fish, fish populations adapt to the pressure of heavy fishing by evolving to mature earlier and at smaller sizes.


Science to policy – Reflections on the South African realitySAJS

This year's SANCOR Forum theme was entitled  “Mind the gap” – challenges in crossing the boundaries of research, policy and management”. A summary of the discussion has been published as a commentary in the latest issue of the South African Journal of Science.


Von der Heyden S, Lukey P, Celliers L, Prochazka K, Lombard AT. Science to policy – Reflections on the South African reality. S Afr J Sci. 2016;112(11/12), Art.#0183, 6 pages.

Why do seabirds eat plastic? UC Davis

Marine Plastic Debris Is an Olfactory Trap for Seabirds
By Kat Kerlin

It turns out that marine plastic debris emits the scent of a sulfurous compound that some seabirds have relied upon for thousands of years to tell them where to find food, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. This olfactory cue essentially tricks the birds into confusing marine plastic with food.

Read full article...

Image Caption:

Some species of seabirds, including blue petrels, are particularly vulnerable to eating plastic debris at sea. Credit: J.J. Harrison.

Global Atlas of Marine FisheriesIsland Press

A Critical Appraisal of Catches and Ecosystem Impacts

520 pages
8.5 x 11
600 maps, photos, illustrations

Edited by Daniel Pauly and Dirk Zeller
The Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries is the first and only book to provide accurate, country-by-country fishery data.

Paris climate change agreement enters into forceThe Guardian

Environment groups hail ‘momentous occasion’ but warn governments need to cut carbon emissions more steeply to avoid dangerous global warming

The Paris agreement on climate change enters into force on Friday, 4 November 2016, marking the first time that governments have agreed legally binding limits to global temperature rises.


Read further...


New generation of scientists to investigate ocean, atmosphere and climate interactions in North to South Atlantic Ocean TransectPOGO

Coinciding with the COP22 Marrakech Climate Change Conference, the next generation of oceanographers will receive training in the skills required to investigate ocean, atmosphere and climate interactions. Twenty-five international post-graduate scholars selected from a total of 212 applicants will be departing from Bremerhaven, Germany on 12th November, heading south along the west African coast to complete the transect in Cape Town, South Africa on 12th December.


Read further...​

Social Media Accelerates ScienceThe Scientist

How researchers are taking advantage of Twitter and other forums to do, share, and discuss research

By Ben Andrew Henry

Read full article here.

Ross Sea becomes world's largest MPACNN

By Ben Westcott, CNN


An enormous Antarctic bay, home to penguins and killer whales, became the world's largest protected marine area on Friday.
A United Nations body sealed the deal after five years of negotiations, at a meeting in Hobart, Tasmania.
    "It's near pristine and how many near pristine parts of the ocean do we have left on the planet?" WWF Australia Ocean Science Manager Chris Johnson told CNN.
    Twenty-four nations and the European Union agreed unanimously to declare the Ross Sea in Antarctica an official Marine Protected Area after negotiations brokered by the UN's Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources




    Living Planet Report documents the state of the planetWWF

    The WWF Living Planet Report documents the state of the planet—including biodiversity, ecosystems, and demand on natural resources—and what it means for humans and wildlife. Published by WWF every two years, the report brings together a variety of research to provide a comprehensive view of the health of the earth.

    Ranking the 17 best universities in South AfricaBusinessTech

    US News & World Report have released the 2016/17 edition of the Best Global Universities (BGU) ranking – featuring a list of the top institutions in South Africa.

    Each institution was evaluated based on its research performance and its ratings by members of the academic community around the world and in the region.

    Read further...

    ACEP Deep Secrets cruise SAIAB

    The ACEP Deep Secrets cruise aboard the Department of Environment’s Research Vessel Algoa is currently underway! The month long Deep Secrets Cruise (26 Sept. 26-25 Oct 25 2016) aims to develop an understanding of shelf edge and slope ecosystems and their geological and oceanographic drivers to support improved integrated ecosystem based management in multiple sectors in South Africa. The cruise is a project of the multi-disciplinary African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme through a joint initiative with the Oceans and Coast Branch of the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Science and Technology facilitated through the Presidential Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy Laboratory. The expedition is led by the Principal Investigator Dr Kerry Sink, a scientist at the South African National Biodiversity Institute.




    Image caption:

    Map sowing 29 stations covering 11 habitat types and four of the proposed new Phakisa Marine Protected Areas in South Africa

    Researchers are building a new robot to help protect the Great Barrier ReefScience Alert

    ​Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has seen better days, with a 50 percent decline in coverage over the last 30 years, and a severe El Nino event earlier this year bleaching 93 percent of the reef's coral species.

    But it’s not dead yet, and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation is hoping to monitor and assist the reef’s recovery with a new ‘robo reef protector’, which it’s dubbed RangerBot.

    The robot was originally created to seek out and remove crown-of-thorns starfish – invasive predators that feed on coral - but now a team from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia is working with the Foundation to expand these capacities to manage a wide range of issues in coral reef across the globe, including water quality, coral coverage and invasive species.

    How Much Heat Does the Ocean Trap? Robots Find OutScientific American

    3,500 aquatic robots descend a mile below the surface and back, every 10 days 


    • By Brittany Patterson,


    A fleet of robots, trolling the oceans and measuring their heat content, has revolutionized scientists’ ability to study how climate change is affecting the seas.

    Read further...

    Image Caption:

    Scientists launch a Deep Argo float. Credit: NOAA

    Researchers use ‘robomussels’ to monitor climate changeNorth­eastern Uni­ver­sity

    Tiny robots have been helping researchers study how cli­mate change affects bio­di­ver­sity. Devel­oped by North­eastern Uni­ver­sity sci­en­tist Brian Hel­muth, the “robo­mus­sels” have the shape, size, and color of actual mus­sels, with minia­ture built-​​in sen­sors that track tem­per­a­tures inside the mussel beds.


    Read further...​

    Thousands of rainbow trout escape into Danish sea after ship crashDeutsche Welle (DW)

    Up to 80,000 rainbow trout have escaped into open waters after a cargo ship crashed into a Danish fish farm. Danes have been encouraged to take up their poles and start fishing, as the trout could damage the sea habitat.


    Read further...



    The freed fish may pose a threat to wild sea trout.

    Photo credit: picture-alliance/dpa

    1 - 30Next