November 12, 2015 by dyertrust

On Friday the 6th of November the Dyer Island Conservation Trusts team gave a presentation at the Hemel en Aarde valley club house in Hermanus. The evening was hosted by Gerhard Van de Merwe who for the past few weeks has been volunteering his time to help out at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) in Kleinbaai, Gansbaai. He organised the event to introduce the team from the DICT to fellow residents as well as showcasing our delightful new wine label African Penguin reserve which was made in partnership with Creation Wines.


The evening began with Gerhard introducing the Trusts new operations manager Pinkie Ngewu. With her conservation management degree Pinkie will be the friendly and informative face to meet future visitors on site in Kleinbaai. DICT shark biologist Alison Towner opened the presentation with an overview of their research, community projects and eco tourism model. She explained how sustainable tourism is an essential component to fund their research on the local marine species and explained how Gansbaai was recently awarded gold at the World Travel Market (WTM) for best responsible tourism destination. The audience gave a proud round of applause to this news. Alison then spoke on white shark history, behavior and ecology in Gansbaai which is the focus of her PhD thesis. The presentation finished with Xolani Lawo, the expert penguin handler at APSS. Xolani has an admirable and genuinely profound passion for seabirds and although the audience were saddened to hear about the tragic plight of the African Penguin, they thoroughly enjoyed Xolanis entertaining stories on seabird handling over the last decade.

IMG-20151106-00128The DICT team ended the evening with a questions and answer session and encouraged all in the audience to come through and visit their facility. A wine tasting session was held, with gift boxes and bottles of wine sold on site- the profit of which goes directly towards marine research at APSS.