Marine – Meet Sindi, the Whale Statue Recycling Project

Camran Buttle (11) from Plettenberg Bay Primary is the lucky winner of the Whale Sculpture Naming Competition held between the 16th and 25th of August 2021.

Camran entered the name “Sindi” which comes from the isiXhosa word sindisa meaning to save, with sindisa iminenga meaning to save the whales. Camran further iterated in his entry its relevance to save our beaches and ocean from plastic pollution of which this sculpture represents in its entirety. Camran has won himself a boat trip (including a guardian) courtesy of Ocean Blue Adventures.

The first day of spring brought forward a winner and a new name for the wonderful whale sculpture recently erected on Central Beach, Plettenberg Bay. This beautiful sculpture is not only something amazing to gaze at but works towards increased public awareness of the plastic pollution and marine litter problems we face and provides a practical solution. Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT) would like to say a big thank you to all contestants who entered the naming competition, there were some thoughtful, funny, and unique names.

The panel of judges couldn’t select just one that stood out from the other top choices which went into a hat for a final name draw on the 1st of September 2021. Sindi came out strong in the end, and what a wonderful name to go with a beautiful and important sculpture for our coastal town of Plettenberg Bay. The NVT team would like to also thank Fran Molloy, Derek Saul, Plett Tourism, and Table Mountain Fund Small Grants Programme for making this project a reality.

The whale sculpture, by Derek Saul (artist), formed part of NVT’s TMF small grants programme and was initiated by Fran Molloy to help increase awareness on the global issue of plastic pollution and marine litter by providing a practical solution. The sculpture is made of galvanised steel, recycled tyres, lobster traps, fishing ropes, netting, etc. and houses a wheelie dustbin that can be removed for emptying.

It stands almost 2.6m tall and roughly 1.8m wide and sits on a ‘selfie’ bench. The entire outer form and flippers have been galvanized to prevent corrosion and rust. If one looks into the sculpture, you will find an underwater element with multiple fish constructed from scrap materials and other plastic items, marine debris, and fish traps that pollute our waters creating something truly thought-provoking.

Fran and Derek have created something not only beautiful to behold but functional for the community. This is also a wonderfully interactive way to educate our peers and children on plastic pollution and ways to solve the issue and alleviate the pressure on our coastline and marine and freshwater systems.

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