The Blue Fund Saving Penguins
On Friday, 03 February 2017, delegates of The Blue Fund – a partnership between Grindrod Bank and the Wildlands Conservation Trust – gathered at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay for their first experience in witnessing the release of endangered African penguins and seabirds. A total of 12 African penguins and eight Cape Cormorants were returned to their natural habitat.
The Blue Fund accompanied the SANCCOB team to celebrate the fruitful outcome of their pledge to match funding raised through SANCCOB’s penguin adoption programme during its renowned ‘chick season’ from 17 October to 31 December 2016 – a total of 562 African penguin chicks were admitted to SANCCOB’s Western Cape and Eastern Cape centres. The collective amount raised, inclusive of The Blue Fund’s contribution and donations received from local and international supporters, was over R522 000,00. Funds raised through the adoption programme are used towards fish, medical supplies and overall rehabilitation needs of the thousands of penguins and seabirds rescued, hatched, hand-reared and rehabilitated by SANCCOB’s team of seabird specialists and volunteers.
As a non-profit organisation, whose primary objective is to reverse the decline of seabird populations, SANCCOB’s name has become synonymous with saving penguins. To date SANCCOB has treated more than 95 000 seabirds and independent research confirms that SANCCOB’s oil spill response actions alone have increased the African penguin population by 19%.
The Blue Fund’s contribution to SANCCOB’s conservation work stems from their commitment to conserve coastal marine ecosystems. Francois Louw, Fundraising and Marketing Manager of SANCCOB, says, “Support from individuals, social groups and corporates, such as The Blue Fund, who contribute to the sustainability of our organisation to preserve African penguins and seabirds, enables us to put the resources in place that provide the best possible outcomes for the birds. We are very grateful for each and every donation and fundraising initiative that has benefited our work since humble beginnings nearly 50 years ago.”