Marine Evening: White Sharks of Gansbaai

March 29, 2017 Brenda du Toit

The waters of Gansbaai are believed to have one of the of White sharks in the world. With the opportunity to see this shark all year round, and the proximity to land making it one of the most accessible places in the world to do so, Gansbaai is on the top of many tourists list's to visit in the hopes of catching a glimpse of this animal. These factors also allow for critical studies to be undertaken on this legendary but little known about shark species. The nearly daily trips run allow a platform to consistently conduct crucial observational studies, collect photo-identification and measure environmental parameters leading to a better understanding of the white shark as the simple fact is, to date, knowledge is limited concerning this animal, including vulnerability status and we cannot possibly hope to protect, conserve and provide a realistic image on something we know so little about.

It was with this in mind, that Marine Dynamics’s biologist, Kelly Baker, shared her observations of three years on board Slashfin. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Biological Science from the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. Her long term daily observational data is adding extensively to the current database on file for the Marine Dynamics/Dyer Island Conservation Trust team. Her main areas of focus include determining the size and thus growth rates of the sharks that visit and revisit the area; documenting wounds, healing and scars and the identification of individuals using the dorsal fin - in turn monitoring the population as a whole.

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Penguins Loved By La Pentola

March 07, 2017 Brenda du Toit

One of our favourite supporters, Shane Sauvage, of the famous restaurant, La Pentola visited the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) leaving behind a legacy of R10 000.00

Shane has been a staunch supporter of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust for some years now with a special fondness for our great white shark research. The Trust and  shark biologist, Alison Towner, was even featured in his most recent book, Cape Fusion. In April 2015, Shane was the guest chef at a special fundraising evening and even donated a special cooking evening. Shane brought his family to visit the penguins and his youngest, Marina, was in awe. “The Trust is truly grateful for this fantastic donation which will go towards the continued rehabilitation work with the endangered African penguins. The APSS has been opened for just two years and is making an important impact on the local penguin population of Dyer Island.  It is not possible for us to do this work without the continued support of the public. The penguins are the responsibility of all of us and we can all help make a difference,” says Theanette Staal, manager and veterinary nurse at APSS.

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South Africa's most endangered dolphin needs your help!

March 02, 2017 Meredith Thornton & Sandra Hoerbst

At the Dyer Island Conservation Trust we are lucky to have one of South Africa’s lesser-known species of dolphin occurring right here in the Greater Dyer Island Area.  This is a shy and somewhat elusive species called the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin.  Their species, or Latin, name is Sousa plumbea and they are officially classified as endangered in South African waters.

There are probably less than 10 000 in the world and most likely only a few hundred left in South Africa!  This very small population size means that they are South Africa’s most endangered dolphin and are thus in need of increased protection and continued monitoring.  They live close inshore, usually in waters less than 20m deep, and are often found around river mouths, like the Uilkraal estuary.

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