If you take action out of conservation you are literally left with a meaningless word – “onserv”.


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.

Our Publication List
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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.


We started the development & deployment of artificial nests for the African penguin in 2006. Through ongoing research and collaboration we have continued in our quest to find the ultimate African penguin penthouse.

We opened the African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary in February 2015

We embarked on an intensive research programme to statistically calculate the probable population size of the Great white shark in the Dyer Island area.

We used acoustic tagging to determine the interaction of the Great white sharks with their environment, habitat & prey.

We collaborated with researchers from universities in South Africa & abroad to understand how physiological stress and genetics affect individual behaviour in a large apex predator.

We studied the presence & effect of persistent organic pollutants on the reproductive health of Great white sharks.

We investigated the relationship between cage diving and Great white shark behaviour by comparing control and cage-diving designated areas.

We support the annual aerial survey of the Southern right whales. We collaborate with researchers to observe & record the endangered Humpback dolphin. We collect images of Bryde’s whales for the national database.

We initiated  and managed the Fishing Line Bin Project.

We initiated, designed & manufactured a stormwater drain outlet pollution capturing net system that we are trialling in collaboration with the Overstrand municipality for possible deployment in the larger Overstrand area.

We have developed & implemented our DEEP Blue Ambassador programme.

We host monthly Marine evenings to inform and educate people about our environment.

We are part of the National Whale Disentanglement Programme

We do regular BRUV (BAITED REMOTE UNDERWATER VIDEO SYSTEMS) surveys to gather data. BRUVs are a non-invasive way to observe marine species in their natural habitat. This data helps us to investigate the diversity, distribution, and abundance of sharks around Dyer Island, and contributes to similar studies around South Africa helping drive decisions on marine protected areas.

A continued monitoring programme of the Uilenkraalsmond Estuary helps in assessing the health of this important system and is essential to our understanding of the important role wetlands play in the ecosystem.

The collection of shark egg cases on designated beaches helps identify species distribution and breeding timing of smaller shark species.