We do CONSERVATION.
We discover through research and observation.
Research helps us to identify the origin, the cause and possible solutions to a problem. Solutions need to be implemented, policies need to change, legislation must be adapted, action must be taken.
We make a difference, we act, we get things done.
We are part of the environment we live in. We see and feel the changes.
We take responsibility.
The Dyer Island Conservation Trust was founded in 2006 by Wilfred Chivell, a true ocean warrior and the owner of Marine Dynamics Travel and Dyer Island Cruises. A native of Gansbaai, Wilfred knows the reefs, rocks and wrecks along the Gansbaai coastline like the inside of his home. His passion for the conservation of this diverse environment has placed the greater Dyer Island region on the international map.
Our operational model:
Our primary partners, Marine Dynamics & Dyer Island Cruises, provide the trust with significant funding and the operational platform from which the Trust operates.
Donations from tourists who come to view the Great white shark, visit the African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary or join the eco cruises contributes greatly towards our work.
We rely on continued partnerships with business and corporate sponsorships, and special partnerships like our partnership with Volkswagen South Africa’s – For Good initiative to meet our research and operational funding needs.
AFRICAN PENGUIN & SEABIRD SANCTUARY
Opened in 2015, the APSS is as a custom-designed marine bird rehabilitation center.
We provide temporary care to diseased, displaced, injured, oiled and abandoned marine birds with special focus on the endangered African penguin. Marine bird rescue, rehabilitation and releases part of the conservation management plan to stabilize and maintain population numbers.
Rehabilitation is a re-active but important intervention. Every single penguin saved through rehabilitation contributes to the conservation effort, to prevent the extinction of the African penguin.
- EMERGENCY RESPONSE
including a Penguin Rescue line allowing the public to report stranded birds and a penguin ambulance service for Dyer Island.
- MEDICAL TREATMENT
an attending veterinarian and permanent veterinarian nurse to immediately treat birds in distress, thereby increasing their survival rate
- A TEMPORARY HOME
The facility has a quarantine-, intensive care- and a general ward, a fully equipped laboratory and a pre-release conditioning pen.
- PENGUIN PENTHOUSE PROJECT
Rehabilitation is re-active, to save the African penguin from extinction we need to also focus on pro-active measures. One of those measures are to provide the penguins with an artificial nest that will meet all the requirements of a perfect penguin penthouse.
WHY DO WE NEED TO PROVIDE ARTIFICIAL NESTS?
Before the advent of artificially produced fertiliser, guano was considered a top-quality fertiliser rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Guano (an Inca word for a mix of eggshell, feathers, decayed corpses and bird excrement) was scraped from the penguin breeding islands. Penguins used to build their nests by burrowing into the thick layers of guano. This “forced removal” from well protected, temperature-controlled burrows to open surface nests, exposed the African Penguin to the harsh African heat and occasional flooding the “open-plan” living arrangement turned their eggs and chicks into an easy meal for predators like gulls & skuas.
MONITORING OF WHALES AND DOLPHINS
Our marine biologists and guides collect observational data about all whales & dolphins spotted whilst onboard the vessels of our partner company, Dyer Island Cruises. All sightings are mapped and this creates a knowledge foundation that is used for various studies. On each trip, we take readings of water temperature, pressure and oxygen levels.
The collection of this observational & environmental data is critical to the understanding of the cetaceans frequenting our area and the studies of various biologists.
The Trust is the first port of call for marine animal rescues in the area. We have an expert team and dedicated recovery vessels. Necropsies are done on-site, and samples are provided to various research centres. The samples and material we collect is used for scientific projects and museum collections. We provide the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Mammal Research Institute of the University of Pretoria with data from all marine mammal strandings in our area.
Dolphins are quite vulnerable to entanglement due to their more playful, curious nature. Through Dyer Island Conservation Trust’s Fishing Line Bin project, we are able to mitigate entanglement by removing line from the environment before it reaches the sea.
CLEAN MARINE: FISHING LINE BINS
The Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Programme uses PVC pipes to create receptacles that stand 60 cm high and are erected at beaches around the country as repositories for used, discarded monofilament fishing line. The programme increases public awareness of the negative impacts of fishing line debris and encourages correct disposal by placing a network of the fishing line bins strategically along the coastline. Since the launch of the project in 2010 in the Gansbaai area, it has expanded countrywide and has met with overwhelming support by anglers, boaters and local communities.
The DICT assembles and distributes the bins through a partnership with the Marine Dynamics International Marine Volunteer Programme. The material for the bins is sponsored by MacNeil as arranged by Plastics SA. The GPS position of each bin is entered into a database to allow for the creation of a map to indicate where fishing lines bins are available and which organisation is responsible for the maintenance and emptying of the bins.