Our first guests for the day had an early grey start to their morning!
Marine Dynamics Awarded Three Blue Flag Certifications
GEORGE, Western Cape - As warmer weather and swim season approaches, WESSA celebrated South Africa's pristine coastal destinations with the coveted Blue Flag and Green Coast status awards on Friday, October 20th.
A further four marinas and six tourism boats have been acknowledged at this season's event at Salinas in Wilderness, hosted by George Municipality - the perfect backdrop for the distinguished gathering who applauded the outstanding contributions made towards sustainable coastal management. The ceremony showcased exceptional initiatives and projects highlighting innovative approaches to sustainable practices, conservation, education, and community involvement. By shining a spotlight on these achievements, the event inspired and encouraged others to embrace sustainable coastal management principles.
The Blue Flag program has been locally managed by WESSA since 2001 in partnership with the global Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and participating coastal municipalities.
The awards serve as a benchmark for sustainable tourism where qualifying criteria for Blue Flag and Green Coast status involve a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria which must be met and maintained. By meeting these rigorous standards in water quality, environmental management, safety, and education, Blue Flag beaches, green coastlines, and marinas inspire visitors to become responsible global citizens.
Marine Dynamics was the only shark- and whale-tour operator who received three Blue Flag Certifications for their custom-built vessels: Slashfin, Dreamcatcher, and Whale Whisperer.
Slashfin is the pride of Gansbaai. It is a premier cage diving vessel designed by company owner, Wilfred Chivell. "It was purpose-built for the rough seas we often encounter and is a fantastic ride on the water. It has an aluminium hull and four 300 hp engines which propel it to a top speed of up to 45 knots."
According to Wilfred, who also custom-designed Dream Catcher, "our whale-watching and eco-trip vessel is a 14m catamaran with an aluminium hull and is purpose-built for eco-marine and whale-watching trips. During whale season, the boat runs several trips a day in search of the iconic Southern Right Whale. Out of season, eco-trips are run on demand."
At Marine Dynamics, safety is our top priority, and we spare no expense. Our vessel, the "Whale Whisperer," is custom-designed for boat-based whale watching, safety, and comfort. She is an 11.5m aluminium hull wrapped in pontoons for steady viewing from any side and is equipped with twin 250hp four-stroke engines (the most eco-friendly in the business). She comes with an onboard toilet, two additional decks for viewing, and an open wheelhouse. We limit our trips to an exclusive 20-24 passengers, ensuring that each client has ample space on board as well as personalized service (this means - book ahead!).
WESSA CEO, Helena Atkinson acknowledged and commended the exceptional efforts made by local authorities, communities, and volunteers in achieving excellent world-class standards this season. "It takes great dedication and effort to manage a beach or marina to meet the rigorous standards set out for this prestigious award, and we extend our warmest congratulations to all the deserving sites that have achieved the eco-labels," she said, adding that achieving the Blue Flag or Green Coast eco-label was not just a status symbol but an indication of collective effort, commitment, and compliance.
"By providing ongoing education programs and training, we are able to provide citizens with key information about beach quality management at Blue Flag or Green Coast sites. It is also a way to recognize the hard work done by municipalities in providing safe natural spaces and preserving our natural resources for future generations," she said.
According to Wilfred, "It's a real feather in Marine Dynamics' cap to walk away with three awards. This proves that we are indeed the best in the industry when it comes to boat-based shark and whale tours."
Make sure you book a marine adventure on these fantastic vessels for your next shark and whale tour!