South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum​

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South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum

Fostering collaboration between the scientific community and the oil and gas industry in South Africa


The South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (SAMREF) is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Offshore Petroleum Association of South Africa (OPASA).

The goals of SAMREF are to:

1) Identify and take advantage of opportunities provided by oil and gas exploration activities and platforms, to gather important marine ecosystem data which would otherwise be difficult and expensive to obtain.

2) Facilitate new collaborative offshore studies that would increase South Africa’s state of knowledge of the offshore marine environment, related to renewable energy potential, marine biodiversity and ecology, climate change and ecosystem functioning.


Terms of Reference and reports developed in establishment of SAMREF.

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for the multi-stakeholder Forum and Steering Committee for Operation Phakisa’s Oil & Gas Lab’s “Initiative B3 – Exploiting the broader research opportunities presented by offshore oil and gas exploration"


Stakeholder Registration

Please register on the stakeholder database to receive updates and notifications of new opportunities.

The Team

The SAMREF Secretariat is hosted by the NRF-SAEON Egagasini Node, Cape Town.


Node Manager, Egagasini Node for Marine Offshore Systems.

PhD Physical Oceanography, UCT

Interests include ocean modelling. climate variability, SW Indian Ocean, SE Atlantic Ocean, Agulhas Current, offshore-coastal interactions, long term observations, as well as student supervision, lecturing and capacity building.

Project Officer

Nicole du Plessis obtained her Honours in Ocean and Atmospheric Science at the University of Cape Town. She started with the Groen Sebenza Programme in 2013 at WESSA. As part of the internship she worked as the project assistant at the Whale Coast Cetacean Project researching cetacean behaviour and habitat use in Gansbaai. She then continued her internship at the City of Cape Town’s Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department focusing on coastal management. As part of her duties she worked on the Blue Flag South Africa Programme, she was the secretariat of the Simon’s Town Penguin Advisory Committee and a mentor for the Youth Environmental Services Programme.
She is currently the Project Officer for the South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (SAMREF) as well as the Coordinator for IORA-SA.

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