The scouring pads belong to Olwethu Duna a Rhodes PhD candidate student who is based at the South African institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB). His research is looking at the effects of wind on mussel and barnacle recruitment. Researchers have used plastic scouring pads for many years as a substratum that is attractive to juvenile barnacles and mussels. A team from Rhodes come out every Spring tide to remove, examine and replace the pads. Barnacle and mussel recruits attach within each pad enabling researchers to study one aspect of the life history of these intertidal invertebrates.
Depending on the question being asked the scourers are placed in the intertidal zone for different lengths of time. There are a number of sites along the eastern Cape coastline being studied.
Thank you to Esté Frans from Kenton Tourism for sourcing the information from Professor Alan Hodgson FRSSAf and Ms Jaqui Trassierra, Department of Zoology & Entomology, Rhodes University.