DEEP CAMP 2018

October 10, 2018

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust Environmental Education Programme, known as DEEP, works with dedicated learners from Masakhane Primary school. The programme started in 2016 and runs for three years, with a new intake of 12 students each year. The long-term approach enables effective monitoring and evaluation of their progress and the impact that environmental education can have on young kids.

At the end of each year, learners go on an educational camp. This year learners from the second and third year attended an educational camp at Wortelgat in Stanford, where they spent the weekend learning about respect, teamwork and trust. The weekend included a fun-filled day of activities on Saturday - Viking games, nature walks, environmental quizzes, a trust walk, volleyball, stumbling blocks, spider webs and water activities. The learners had water activities on the Stanford river where a fun Mr & Mrs Wortelgat was selected.

Educator Pineky Ngewu said of the camp, “My three-year journey with the DEEP Blue ambassadors has taught me that we should focus on the personal development of our younger generation. These young people are our future leaders, decision makers and legislators, and they can have a profound impact on their community. Watching them grow in self-confidence and improved language skills is very rewarding. This camp was a lifetime experience for them.”

We would like to thank our sponsors of the camp - Mike Gibbs, Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises.

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FISHING LINE ENTANGLED PENGUIN

October 08, 2018

This fishing line entangled African penguin was spotted by the skipper of Dreamcatcher, the Dyer Island Cruises boat, just off Kleinbaai on the 17th September 2018. The penguin was heavily entangled with line tightly wound through the beak, around the neck, flippers and feet preventing the bird from swimming or diving. The penguin was exhausted and drowning was imminent.

The team from Dyer Island Conservation Trust immediately launched Happy Feet, a smaller rubber duck that allows them to operate in shallow water. The penguin was rescued and rushed to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary. The APSS team together with Dr Marc Walton commenced with "plastic surgery" immediately.

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HERMANUS WHALE FESTIVAL

October 03, 2018

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust has been a participant of the educational tent at the Hermanus Whale Festival since 2009.

This platform provides an opportunity to reach the 100 000 or more people that visit the annual festival. The team works hard to educate the public on the marine species of the area especially the Marine Big 5 - whales, sharks, penguins, dolphins and seals. The Hermanus Whale Festival is in its 27th year and the real stars of the show are the southern right whales that visit the sheltered bay to mate and calve providing some wonderful viewing opportunities from land. This year visitors were able to make an ocean pledge and surf the recycled plastic wave as DICT together with their corporate sponsor, Volkswagen SA, are ‘riding the wave together for a cleaner ocean’.

Alison Towner is the senior shark biologist at the Dyer Island Conservation Trust and gave a talk on how critical sharks are to the ecosystem. Special thanks to Shane Sauvage of LaPentola restaurant who closed his restaurant for the time of his talk and brought all his staff to listen. Xolani Lawo, senior bird rehabilitator at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, a project of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, spoke on the plight of the African penguin and shared some rehabilitation moments. The Trust’s presence at the festival was sponsored by eco-tourism partner, Marine Dynamics / Dyer Island Cruises, who conduct shark cage diving and whale watching/eco tours around the Dyer Island ecosystem.

“We believe education is imperative if we are to help protect our marine ecosystem,” says Wilfred Chivell, CEO of Marine Dynamics. “The Hermanus Whale Festival helps us reach many people, and for some, this is the first time they are being introduced to the marine species we are privileged to work with. We congratulate the organisers on a fantastic festival this year, and well done to CapeNature on their campaign addressing trash. The boxes made a real difference to the cleanliness of the festival, and the whales were incredible this year. It was wonderful to see everyone fascinated by the whales and that is what this festival is truly about.”

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