The South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (SAMREC) is located within the
Cape Recife Conservancy, south of Port Elizabeth.
Our mission, at SAMREC, is to rescue tired, dehydrated and injured marine birdlife that become stranded on our shores.
We try our best to bring these creatures back to full health so that we can release them back into the wild as quickly as possible. The main bird species that we aid is the African Penguin, an endangered species of bird that occurs off the South African and Namibian coasts. Our goal is to contribute to turning this endangered species, into a species of least concern. It is estimated that in the last 50 years, the African penguin population has declined by 91%, leaving an estimated total population of 45 000 individuals. Researchers have predicted that this species will be extinct in the wild by 2025, making our work incredibly important.
The second part of our mission is to create awareness, not just for the plight of the African penguin, but for the impact that humans are having on our entire marine environment
What separates our centre from other marine bird rehabilitation centres, is that we have a fully established education programme that serves to educate schools, tourists and any interested public. We address the issues of endangered and rare species and the impact of climate change and other human induced impacts including, pollution and over-fishing on our marine ecosystems.
In September 2009, SAMREC moved into their new premises in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve. A grant from the National Lotto allowed for premises designed specifically for sick African Penguins and other sea birds. The architect studied prevailing winds so that germs and harmful grass spores would be blown away from the building. The design incorporates a huge concrete area which can accommodate 2000 birds if there is a bad oil spill. Our facility has a wonderful discovery centre that serves as our education tool for the schools and people that visit our organization. Coupled with a restaurant, hospital wing and a large rehabilitation pool, we are incredibly fortunate to have these facilities to live our passion.