Depite the controversial New Years Eve rave at uShaka Marine World going ahead, advocacy groups say theyve made their point. File photo: Puri Devjee

Durban - Despite the controversial New Year’s Eve rave at uShaka Marine World going ahead, animal advocacy groups say they scored a “small victory” by holding the park’s management to account.

The event, marketed as the “Bermuda Triangle” and which boasted three dance floors and 18 DJs, drew criticism from activist organisations last month who claimed that uShaka management may have been putting profit before the welfare of its animals.

Activists drafted a petition – which received almost 8 500 signatures from people all over the world – to try to stop the event.

Mia du Plessis, who launched the petition via the website, said:

“We are extremely relieved to hear that there were no serious injuries on the night of the rave.

“However, it is extremely important to note that any stress caused by this particular party may only be noticeable in the days or even weeks to come, as the toll it may have taken on the animals will only begin to manifest through subtle changes such as loss of appetite or increased aggression, or other stress-related conditions such as ulcers, or even self-harm.”

The Durban and Coast SPCA were at the scene, monitoring the situation.

“We are, however, disappointed that they were only there for about an hour and left before midnight, when festivities and noise would have been at its loudest.”

Du Plessis thanked activists who “applied relentless pressure on uShaka to ensure safety measures were put in place to minimise disruption to marine life”.

Judy Mann, chief executive of the South African Association for Marine Biological Research, the body that runs uShaka Sea World, and has been caring for marine mammals for 60 years, said via a statement released yesterday that the party had been a success.

“As has been the experience of Sea World in the past with such events, the animals were absolutely fine. The sharks and fish did not react to the music and the sound of the event could hardly be heard in the dolphin area. There was, however, a great deal of noise from the fireworks along the beachfront.”

Mann said that SPCA inspector, Dougie du Plessis, had conducted an extensive inspection of the marine park and party venues. - Daily News