Dyer Island Conservation Trust

Discover - Protect - Educate

Dyer Island Conservation Trust in Gansbaai delivers unique conservation and research programmes in the fragile Dyer Island marine ecosystem at the Southern tip of Africa. The trust aims to protect the long-term future of the species that live in the ecosystem by promoting evidence-based conservation initiatives that involve the local community and visitors to the area.

Click on ‘More Info’ below to find out more about Dyer Island Conservation Trust.

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Dyer Island Conservation Trust was founded by Wilfred Chivell in 2006 with the aim to deliver unique conservation and research programmes at the southern-most tip of Africa.

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The conservation trust strives to protect the largest surviving colonies of endangered African Penguin; protect the breeding and calving grounds of the Southern Right Whale and monitor the world's densest population of Great White Sharks.


Together with eco-tourism partners Marine Dynamics Tours (a shark cage diving company operational since 2005) and Dyer Island Cruises (a whale watching company operational since 2001), the trust conducts valuable research, conservation and education. Both companies hold Fair Trade in Tourism certification and employ marine biologists whose research is supported through Dyer Island Conservation Trust.



Dyer Island Conservation Trust promote the following initiatives:

Faces of Need - Penguins

African Penguins are endemic to Southern Africa, occurring only in South Africa and Namibia where they breed mainly on offshore islands. The African penguin is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Program 

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) in association with Overstrand Municipality, has established the Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Program (FLRRP) along the Gansbaai shoreline.

 Specially designed bins are placed at popular fishing spots with the aim to reduce the severe environmental damage caused by discarded fishing line on our coastline.

“Drum it up” Recycling Project

"Drum it up" recycling project was implemented In honour of Earth Day on April 22, 2008. A complete recycling station consists of five metal oil drums that are colour coded for a specific type of waste.

Faces of Need - Sharks

Great White Sharks have been IUCN red-listed since 1996 and Cite Appendix II since 2004. They have been fully protected in South Africa since 1991.

Gansbaai has been established as an extremely important hotspot for Great White Sharks who use the ocean as their feeding grounds. In the winter months (May - September), Geyser Rock just off Dyer Island provides a banquet of juvenile Cape Fur seals that are born each year. Various fish species such as Geelbek, Snoek and Yellowtail are available in seasonal abundance, along with smaller shark species such as soupfin shark (also known as the vaalhaai).

Nolwandle Crafts Project 

The Nolwandle Crafts Project is a community development program that was initiated in 2006 to provide employment for previously disadvantaged people in the local community. Fifteen women from the local township of Masakhane were provided with beading and craft training, which they now use to make products that they sell to be financially self-sufficient. 

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