Robbert Casier
Belgium, Europe

“Last year, almost 600 tons of abalone were confiscated in South Africa. That is about six times more then the legal total allowable catch of abalone for the entire country. Not surprisingly, abalone is on the verge of extinction. Imagine how you would feel if there is only one potential partner for every ten square kilometre.

“During my internship at Table Mountain National Park’s Marine Unit I chased poachers, guided schools, controlled fishing vessels, checked restaurants’ kitchens, sat on top of a mountain checking the ocean for a whole day and patrolled on almost the entire Cape Peninsula. My cursing vocabulary also significantly improved. It was really interesting to try to explain poachers why they can not continue emptying our oceans. Sometimes they have no job, money and food, and you are a spoiled white person from overseas, which put you in a difficult position to explain them the purpose of the law. It is the only way though, and although my internship was probably only a drip in the ocean I am convinced it was definitely worth it!

“I also had an amazing time in Cape Town; met many new friends; enjoyed almost all South Africa’s delights; and had some interesting discussions about religion, evolution and how the EU-crisis will make Europe and the World stronger in the long run!”

Ndiyabulela / Bedankt / Thank you. I had a great time.”