June 29, 2019

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust is relieved to hear that Minister Barbara Creecy announced she was temporarily suspending exploratory octopus fishing with immediate effect after several whales died getting tangled in nets. The Trust team together with other concerned organisations and individuals raised this issue with the government over the last couple of years to no avail and it is interesting that only a public outcry had the desired effect.

CEO of the Dyer Island Conservation trust, Wilfred Chivell, had this to say, “Well done to all those involved who have been pushing for this closure for the last few years and to all those who signed the petition. We commend Minister Creecy for taking a stand. Only a few were, in fact, benefitting from this industry whilst whales paid the price. South Africa is against whale hunting yet allowed these unnecessary deaths for too long. We will continue to fight for the protection of our environment and we do hope the same attention will be given to the matter of longlining vessels that are currently affecting our marine ecosystems. Marine eco-tourism is non-consumptive and more emphasis on this industry would benefit South Africa as a whole.”

Media Releases:
The South African - Fisheries Minister suspends octopus fishing after whale deaths
Environmental Affairs - Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries concerned over entanglement of whales in fishing gear


June 24, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

“Our mind is a limitless sky and we can only be an albatross flying in the vast expanse to occasionally discover the joys of sublimity!”
- Avijeet Das

Every so often we get a call to assist with a large seabird. If you know your birds, you will know that “large seabird” is not referenced as a species in any birding guides. We normally have great fun to then guess which member of the very general “large seabird” group we are going to encounter. Will it be an over-weight gull, or a pecky petrel or will it be an alluring albatross?

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June 21, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

A canary in a coal mine is an advanced warning of some danger. The metaphor originates from the times when miners used to carry caged canaries while at work; if there was any methane or carbon monoxide in the mine, the canary would die before the levels of the gas reached those hazardous to humans.

To be aware about plastic pollution is one thing, to be confronted with a dead African penguin, where the cause of death is starvation due to plastic ingestion, emphasises the very hard and depressing reality that we need to pay heed to the klaxon alarm that has been sounding for a while.

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June 16, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

White shark biologist Alison Towner and Brenda du Toit of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust were privileged to be the speakers at the FynArts Hermanus event ‘Lifestyle Environmental Lunch’ at LaPentola. Chef Shane Sauvage is a committed donor to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, a key project of the Trust and all proceeds from the lunch will be donated to the sanctuary. The talk focused on marine conservation efforts that included African penguin conservation, white shark research, environmental education and marine pollution efforts.
“Shane’s continual generosity for our marine life continues to astound us all at the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. His La Pentola family truly are special and continue to help us fight what often seems like an uphill struggle for our marine life. Also a huge thanks to Barbara from Onrus Manor for her fundraising efforts as a further R1710 was donated by guests.”– Alison Towner.


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June 07, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

World Ocean’s Day is a great time for us to highlight the importance and raise awareness of our ocean systems. To celebrate this day the 2019 intake of Dyer Island Conservation Trust’s Environmental Education Programme (DEEP) joined one of our Biologists for the morning to learn about some of the smaller, less talked about but just as important species of elasmobranchs that we find in the area. The DEEP kids learnt that some sharks and rays give birth to live young, whilst approximately 30% of species actually lay eggs (oviparious), and that once the pup has hatched these eggs may wash ashore. We had a fun morning learning about the oviparious species that can be found in the waters surrounding Gansbaai, and after an exciting shark egg hunt we learnt how to identify which egg belongs to which species.

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June 05, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. The Dyer Island Conservation Trust’s fishing line bin project is growing due to the partnership with Plastics ǀ SA and MacNeil Plastics. MacNeil Plastics is donating the material required to make our fishing line bins and we share with you their press release below.
In August, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust will be on the road with Plastics ǀ SA to prepare for the International Coastal Clean Up Day September and to launch our new poster of the project. The poster was designed by artist Martinus van Tee and highlights the impact on just one of our marine species, the endangered African penguin. We aim to see this educational poster in fishing stores and schools in South Africa.

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. Since the project was launched for the first time in 2010 as a best practice in partnership with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, conservation groups and various local authorities, it has met with overwhelming support by anglers, boaters and local communities.
“We frequently see sea birds and marine life trapped or killed as a result of fishing line that was not properly discarded and removed from our oceans or beaches. Each year, the results of the International Coastal Clean-Up show that discarded fishing line continues to be a major pollutant on our country’s beaches, along with plastic bottles, sweet wrappers, straws and lollypop/earbud sticks. For this reason, a follow-up project that encourages the public to discard their lollypop sticks and straws in a similar receptacle was launched at the end of 2018,” explains John Kieser, Sustainability Manager of Plastics|SA.
As a result of the success of the project, more than 386 bins can be found at most of the popular angling beaches around South Africa’s coastline, with plans to extend this number to 500 reaching as far afield as Mozambique. More than 350 kg’s of discarded fishing line have already been removed, some of which has been recycled into bush cutters line. In excess of 500 fishing hooks have also been retrieved from these bins.
In order to introduce the project to communities and raise awareness about the dangers of carelessly discarded fishing line and other plastics to the marine environment, Plastics|SA and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust will be embarking on a special roadshow from Cape Agulhas to the East London Aquarium between the 12th and 16th of August 2019. Sponsors of the roadshow will be Petco, MacNeil Plastics and Volkswagen SA.
“We are thrilled to be able to support this amazing initiative with PVC donations because of the importance of cleaning our beaches. It is important for us to also highlight the fact that plastic products are being used to assist in removing waste from our beaches, not only proving the versatility and importance of plastics, but also the importance of correct disposal. PVC pipes are resistant to the elements and corrosion and are therefore ideal for long-term use on beaches. The unique shape of the pipes and U-Bend end-pieces prevent the lines from blowing away. The project has already proved to be very successful and we at MacNeil Plastics are proud to be involved in this project in a practical way,” concluded Andre Auret, Sales Director of MacNeil Plastics.

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