Most Read

  • Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko to step down
    Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
  • How cooking oil brought a moment of joy during a dreadful week
    It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy. By Howard Feldman
  • Park Advertising launches digital performance unit, Lucid Media
    Performance Media across Search, Social and Programmatic platforms is the single fastest growing area of digital media in South Africa. Combine that with the detailed analysis of campaign management, tagging and ad operations, and it becomes apparent that these highly specialist functions require a highly specialised unit.
  • Transnet hit by cyberattack - Operations disrupted nationwide
    The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
  • #BehindtheBrandManager: Meet Tamsin Darroch of Kellogg's South Africa
    Few food brands have the historical connection with consumers around the world as Kellogg's does, having held meaning at the breakfast table for over a century. By Lauren Hartzenberg
  • Business unusual for small enterprises on the road to recovery
    The Covid-19 pandemic has hit South Africa's small business sector hard and there are grim statistics to bear this out. Those statistics will not be repeated here. After all, if you are a small business owner setting out on the road to recovery, the last thing you probably want is more details of the toll the pandemic has taken on small enterprises. Far more useful would be some good, solid tips on how to build back better after any business setbacks. By Ameen Hassen
Show more
Advertise on Bizcommunity

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Penguins' behaviour could aid fisheries management

The foraging behaviour of African penguins could provide useful information to aid fisheries management, a study conducted in South Africa suggests.
Image by Marcel Langthim from Pixabay

Researchers say that because penguins feed on local fish, studying their behaviour in the absence of fishing is difficult. But a rare closure of commercial fisheries around Robben Island, South Africa, from 2011 to 2013 enabled the researchers to track how penguins fed on fish within 12-kilometre radius of the island.

The study which was published in the Journal of Applied Ecology last week (21 May) shows that penguins’ foraging effort such as time spent diving, number of wiggles per trip and the maximum distance travelled increased as forage fish abundance declined.

If we could track penguin behaviour to understand ocean health, we could detect early warning signs that changes need to be made to marine management. - Kate J. Campbell

"If we could track penguin behaviour to understand ocean health, we could detect early warning signs that changes need to be made to marine management to reduce the environmental impact of human activities," says Kate J. Campbell, wildlife biologist who led the research while studying for a doctorate degree at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Campbell says that the study explored how endangered African penguins respond to variation in local fish populations. The research team collected 30,171 dive records from 74 penguins and used a technique called hydro-acoustic survey to measure sounds in water as the penguins chased their favoured prey — sardine and anchovy.

The study was conducted at the time commercial fishing of the prey was prohibited within the 20-kilometre radius of Robben Island from 2011 to 2013.

“When fish abundance was lower, adults increased their foraging effort by diving more, diving for longer amounts of time, swam further and did more wiggles per trip,” Campbell explains.

Jonathan Munguti, deputy-director and head of aquaculture division at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, says the finding "is a practical and unique way of relating fish populations to the endangered African penguin: Spheniscus demersus".

According to Munguti, policymakers should pay attention to the study’s findings because they can be used to boost marine conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa by ensuring that there is no seabird and fisheries competition. The findings can also be applied to other countries where the endangered African penguin exists.

"The research can be used to aid the implementation of dynamic ocean management," he adds. "The fisher community and other value chain actors in the fisheries sector are the greatest beneficiaries of the study because the findings directly influence their daily activities."

This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk.

About the author

Stephanie Angela Achieng' is a young, brilliant and skilled science journalist from Kenya. She is one of the writers for SciDev.Net's Sub-Saharan Africa English Edition having cut her teeth in journalism profession in 2017. She is currently pursuing Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

Let's do Biz