ORCA TIMES- Quarterly report: January – March 2019

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RESEARCH & MONITORING Bumper breeding season for Robberg seals? Between January-March volunteers assisted biologists with six boat-based counts of Cape fur seals that haul out on Robberg Peninsula. Apart from routine counts of adult seals, which have levelled off since 2012 despite seasonal fluctuations in their numbers, our biologists were surprised by the large increase […]

EDUCATION- Overview!

Volunteer teaching young children at a local pre school

Education- Siyakula Pre-School Education Once a week, volunteers visit young children at the local crèche to give a lesson on basic English words based on the theme of the week. All teaching is done in English (translated by the teachers into their mother tongue of isiXhosa) so that kids can learn a second language. It […]


Orca Foundation volunteers plett

Conservation- Beach Clean-Ups We regularly hike along Plettenberg Bay’s beaches to remove marine debris. Unfortunately we live in a world where people still expose of their rubbish from vessels, in rivers or on beaches. This often causes deadly entanglement in marine animals. Tiny plastic particles (micro-plastics) are also known to end up in the ocean […]

RESEARCH- Overview!

Great white shark sighting in the Robberg Marine Protected Area

RESEARCH Overview The ORCA Foundation offers a unique learning experience for volunteers who are passionate about the marine environment. It will allow you to make valuable contributions to increased knowledge, awareness and conservation efforts while supporting applied marine research. As part of our comprehensive volunteer programme, you will regularly receive the opportunity to assist our […]

The origins of marine mammals


The origins of marine mammals Although all marine mammals evolved from land mammals, it may surprise some that each group of marine mammals has its own unique ancestry. There are three groups of marine mammals: the cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), the pinnipeds (fur seals, sea lions, walruses and seals) and the sirenians (dugongs and […]

ORCA TIMES- Quarterly Report- April to June 2018

ORCA Foundation humpback whale

Over the last three months, ORCA has continued to grow and improve with the enthusiasm and commitment of our team. Since our last newsletter, our team has welcomed a new member, Cameron Reeder. His young, vibey energy is a welcome addition to the team. We have also since seen the launch of our humpback dolphin project […]

New Chapter- Orca Foundation quarterly report 2018

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A NEW CHAPTER The start of 2018 brought a brand new team to the ORCA Foundation Volunteer Program. With 3 new staff members (two experienced marine biologists and a conservationist) the program now hosts a wide range of marine related research, conservation and education activities. January was just crazy! The new team had to move […]

Southern right whale pigmentation patterns

SRW Pigment blog

Southern right whale pigmentation patterns Southern right whales are usually mostly black in colour and were often referred to as “black whales” by open-boat whalers. Most individuals also have a white blaze on their bellies, which can vary in size from a small spot to a large irregularly-shaped marking that may extend up the side […]

September research blog

17.1 Embryo of a twineyed skate 1

September research blog What a month September has been! We started off the month with our elasmobranch egg case collections at our three sites, with Nature’s Valley yielding over a whopping 1200 egg cases! We had finally gotten our backlog under control and now we are still busy processing just that one site’s haul! This […]