Blue, green and everything in-between : the history of the Cape Aquaria c.1902 - 1995

Lennox, Lyle Edward (2021-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Environmental historians have long sought to investigate the various ways humans have come to interact with the natural environment. Recently, some historians have focused their attention on the interplay of the environment, politics and socio-economic forces, over time, including the marine environment. This dissertation adds to this historiography through the investigation of a novel environmental subject namely the public aquarium. Several facets of South Africa’s marine culture, including the s ea fisheries industry, the professi onalization of marine science and recreational fish culture can be explored through the utilization of aquaria as case studies. These aquatic institutions, as we understand them today, were shaped by the aquarium boom between 1850 and 1880 in Britain and later in European metropoles. Although several popular iterations of the public aquaria existed throug hout the colonial empire, this dissertation highlights two popular trends, namely the sea-si de aquaria and the biological marine station. The dissertations focus is on three aquaria in specific, the St. James Aquarium of Kalk Bay (1902 – 1933), the Sea Point Aquarium of the Sea Point promenade (1939 – 1970) and the Two Oceans Aquarium situated at the historic Victoria and Albert Waterfront (1995 – present). By comparing the developmental patterns of Cape Town aquaria to those in Europe, this thesis analyses the connections between these two respective aquatic traditions. Emphasis is placed on the role of the Sout h African state in facilitating know ledge transfer to modernize the country’s fishing industry, the interplay betwee n private initiative and public context, the tension between entertainment and education, and the economies of knowledge and capitalism behind establishing and changing these aquaria. It includes a tentative foray into connecting the trends of aquaria, acclimatization and leisure with the history of private fish keeping.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Omgewings historici streef reeds `n geruime tyd daarna om die verskillende interaksies tussen die mens en sy omgewing te ondersoek. In m eer onlangse tye het so mmige historici hulle gefokus op die wisselwerking tussen omgewing, politiek en sosio-ekonomiese kragte insluitend die mariene omgewing. Hierdie tesis lewer `n bydae tot dié historiografiese gesprek, deur die ondersoek van ‘n uitsonderlike en nuwe omgewingsonderwerp, naamlik die openbare akwarium. Verskeie fasette van die Suid Afrikaanse mariene kultuur, insluitend die seevissery industrie, die professionalisering van die mariene wetenskap, en die ontspannings viskultuur, kan ondersoek word deur die gebruik van die akwaria as ‘n gevallestudie. Die akwatiese instellings soos ons dit vanda g verstaan, was grotendeels ge vorm deur die oplewing tussen 1850 en 1880 in Brittanje en later die res van Europa. Alhoewel verskeie populêre variasies van die openbare akwarium in die koloniale ryk bestaan het, word net twee van hierdie uitgelig in die tesis, naamlik die seefront akwarium en die biologiese marienestasie. Daar word in hierdie tesis spesifiek op drie akwaria gefokus : die St. James Akwarium in Kalkbaai (1902 – 1933), die Seepunt Akwarium op die Seepuntse promenade (1939 – 1970) en die Twee Oseane Akwarium wat op die historiese Victoria en Albert waterfront geleë is (1995 tot tans). Deur die vergelyking van die ontwikkelingspatrone va n die Kaapse openbare akwaria met die van Europe, poog hierdie tesis om die verbande tusse n die twee akwatiese tradisies te evalueer. Klem word geplaas op: die rolvan die Suid-Afrikaanse regering met die fasilitering van kennis om die land se visbedryf vinnig te moderniser; die interaksie tussen privaatinisiatief en die openbare konteks; spanning tussen vermaak en opvoeding; en die spanning tussen die kennisekonomie en ekonomiese belange wat die vestiging en verandering van akwaria gefinansier het. Die tesis poog ook om die neigings/tendense in akwaria, akklimatisering en ontspanning met die geskiedenis van ontspanningsvissery in verband te bring.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/123804
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