Marine Dynamics Group Quarterly Newsletter December 2020

Marine Dynamics Group Quarterly Newsletter December 2020

Marine Dynamics Shark Tours

Important feel-good stories lined up, sharing the good news!

It has been a challenging year for many and we are grateful for the support we have received. We remain committed to our mission of DISCOVER, PROTECT, EDUCATE and will do all we can with reduced funding and fewer hands.

Please support our March for the Penguins - this year we have gone VIRTUAL and thus GLOBAL so all our international supporters can join us. Let’s make this the biggest penguin walk ever!

We wish you all the best for this Christmas season and may 2021 bring renewed hope and joy.

Yours in conservation,
- Wilfred Chivell
CEO Marine Dynamics Group

DICT 2017 - 2019 Report

DICT 10 Year Report




Whale Season Update

We would like to thank all our Tourism Partners who supported us over the last few months. We are pleased to report a successful Whale Watching Season, with a 100% Southern Right Whale sightings up to 23 November 2020. Our Marine Big 5 Tours are still running with sightings of the residential Brydes whales, as well as the rest of the Marine Big 5 species of the magnificent Dyer Island ecosystem.

Visit our daily blogs for updates on recent sightings.



Sharks of 2020

The Lockdown impacted our daily observation shark data. Biologist Kelly Baker provides an overview of shark sightings for 2020.

“We started 2020 off golden with many successful days filled with Bronze whaler shark sightings, a very active species around the boats leaving divers and wildlife lovers alike catching their breath at such sights. The bay's Great White shark sightings were touch and go for the first few months however March saw an encouraging increase in observations as a number of individuals were documented including some well-known to the team such as Mini Nemo, one of our Iconic Great White sharks. 

With the announcement of lockdown at the end of March, the observational documentation of Great White sharks and Bronze whaler sharks in the area came to a stand-still, the longest period in our history in which we were not able to conduct our near daily monitoring of visiting sharks to the bay.

September saw the Marine Dynamics team excitedly head back to sea, eager to see what the bay's waters would hold. The last few months of the year very much mirrored the beginning with high success in Bronze whaler shark encounters, many documented being on the larger size of the species range and female. Great White sharks post lockdown and restrictions, whilst limited have been encountered with the first two days of November bringing not one but two different individuals including an estimated 4.5m female that we logged in March. Visit our daily blogs for updated recent sightings.


Swimming for Sharks

Shark biologist, Alison Towner, swam the 7.5km (4.7 miles) through the freezing cold Atlantic ocean from Robben Island to Cape Town to raise awareness for a cause close to her heart – marine conservation.

Thank you to Alison and all her supporters - the Givengain campaign raised over R80 000 for sharks and penguins.  Alison joined Talitha Noble and Leigh de Necker of the Two Oceans Aquarium who also raised money for marine conservation.

Image: Leigh de Necker

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During the National Lockdown period, our team of marine scientists and conservationists got together to share their knowledge of sharks.

If you missed these live sessions, you are welcome to view them on our YouTube Playlist.





Join us as we virtually go global with our annual March for the Penguins. Waddle, walk, wander or run but have FUN. Dress up in your best black & white penguin impression, plot your run in the shape of a penguin. Share your experience, cheer your friends on, challenge your family. Take your dog with on the walk. Your fun experience will help us to care for our penguin patients, every extra penny we raise through your participation will help us to make a difference. 
More information available here.

Link to Download the Race App

Penguin Chicks Need Your Support

Join our team this week Wednesday, 23 December, for a live session to learn more about the African Penguin chicks and their journey forward. Meet Senior Bird Rehabilitator, Xolani Lawo, aka the Penguin Whisperer, and take the opportunity to ask all the questions about the African Penguin story. We will ask an R50 donation to join the live session. Funds raised will go towards feeding these chicks. You will then receive a YouTube link to join this private live session.

The African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary became a temporary home to a creche of penguin chicks.

The abandoned thus starving penguin chicks were taken off Dyer Island and are being raised at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) as part of the conservation interventions to ultimately save the species from extinction. The fledglings will be released after their time at APSS and will hopefully identify their natal colony and return there to breed four to six years from now. This is crucial in re-establishing this important colony.


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Marine Education

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust team places a high priority on education which is part of our daily work. The team visited Generations School in Hermanus to talk penguins and sharks, and the various grades from Reuns Kollege visited the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary. The team also worked remotely with US students of Global Leadership Adventures. Blog update.

DEEP kids featured on Exfrontiers

Exfrontiers aired with two of our DEEP BLUE kids Yamkela Tshontshi and Laticia Mudege along with our Marine Biologist Kelly Baker and Penguin Whisperer Xolani Lawo on Sunday, 23 August, on SABC3.

This is a kids' Technology Show. Laticia and Yamkela have a keen interest in the ocean and marine biology. They found out about the practical side of shark research, technology involved and how technology is used at the African  Penguin  & Seabird  Sanctuary (APSS).

Marine Month: Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean

Our team partnered with The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) to host an informative event with a marine excursion with a local high school, Gansbaai Academia. The programme included hands-on activities such as rocky shore exploration to record species, a beach clean-up (to document the debris found on our beach) and marine career exhibitions. Blog update.


Trash Free Ocean and a Cleaner Beach for all

Besides our regular beach clean-ups, we make a big splash on International Coastal Clean-Up Day in September. This year a diverse team of 71 volunteers covered 2 km and collected a total of 160 kg of waste filling 32 bags, plus some large items. The worst offender was a big blue crate. The usual top offenders were collected – Plastic Bottle Caps (658), Plastic Pieces (588), Glass Pieces (470), Foam Pieces (289). Blog update.

Keep our Marine Wildlife Safe from Nurdles this Summer

Nurdle spills are an international disaster. The source for the most recent spill in South Africa has been identified. Whilst cleanup operations will be arranged, nurdles will continue to wash up in random places. Keep an eye out when going to the beach with your family.  We all need to help protect our marine wildlife by removing them from our beaches.


Follow the easy steps and deliver your nurdles to the designated spots.

Competition details:

500 g Cleaned Nurdles = 1 Entry

The more nurdles you bring the higher your chances. The big original packaged nurdle bags do not count.

You can have multiple entries.

Lucky Draw winner will be announced on 7 January 2021.  

T's & C's apply.

The Marine Big 5 Tour sponsored by Dyer Island Cruises.

Marine Rescues

Kuya, the Sub-Antarctic Fur Seal

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust team had a rather unusual, and noisy, guest these past few months. There are occasional strandings of sub-Antarctic fur seals and one was reported as coming ashore in Cape Agulhas. Read more about Kuya’s successful rehabilitation and release on our blog update.

Image of seal being released: Jake Keeton

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We need your help this Festive Season

Please continue to support our conservation efforts during this challenging time. You can contribute online via our website to our various conservation projects and issue a certificate in a loved one's name as a meaningful Christmas present.

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Save Our Ocean

Now that you have caught a glimpse of our world out in the big blue,

click on #GiveToSave button and see how you can help keep our marine life around for years to come, or share our #GivenGain crowdfunding campaign across your social network.

If you live in South Africa please add us as a beneficiary on your MyPlanet card.

Dyer Island Conservation Trust is a registered Public Benefit Organisation in terms of section 30 of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 and donations to the organisation are exempt from donations tax in terms of section 56(1)(h) of the Act. NPO 052-024/PBO930032314

Note this tax benefit only applies to South African individuals and companies.

Marine Dynamics Group Quarterly Newsletter December 2020

Marine Dynamics Shark Tours

Marine Dynamics is an award-winning, ecotourism and conservation company based just outside of Gansbaai, in Kleinbaai, South Africa. Marine Dynamics invites you to join them on an adrenaline filled, shark cage diving adventure where you will come face-to-face with one of the ocean's greatest predato...

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