Dyer Island Conservation Trust

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The Dyer Island Conservation Trust has been established for the conservation, rehabilitation and protection of the natural environment, including flora, fauna or the biosphere, the care of the wild animals, the promotion of, and the conducting of educational and training programs relating to environmental awareness, greening and clean-up projects, and conservation research.

We are involved with the following projects on our Marine Big 5.


Our Faces of Need project, which aims to provide artificial nests to the endangered African Penguin to improve their breeding success on Dyer Island and other colonies.

DICT is partnered with the leading conservation authorities and research institutions involved with African penguins. These partners include the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, the Animal Demography Unit of the University of Cape Town, CapeNature, SANCCOB, and BirdLife Overberg.


Gansbaai is a hot spot for Great White sharks and through the efforts of the Marine Dynamics Crew, including an onboard marine biologist, a large database of fin identification has been established, and patterns of behaviour established. Ongoing studies are planned to discover more about their habits in the shallows during the summer months. Acquiring new knowledge and creating awareness through education is vital to conserving this species.


Geyser Rock, near the Island, is home to an abundant Cape fur seal colony and in July 2009, the Trust was instrumental in assisting Marine and Coastal Management with a seal-tagging project, which will provide critical information on cow and pup relationships.


One of the area’s more charismatic inhabitants is the Southern Right whale. Like clockwork, each year between June and December, these waters become a nursery and training ground for Southern Right Cows and their calves. Studies are being undertaken on the feeding habits of the whale and the crew of Dyer Island Cruises actively collects faeces samples for the Mammal Research Institute. Wilfred Chivell, founder of the Trust, is a member of the South African Whale Disentanglement unit.


We have various species of dolphins in the Overstrand area and dolphin population research is undertaken by a PhD student, Isabel DuPre, who has successfully identified the same dolphins returning to the area.

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust is often called to action to assist with the immediate care of vulnerable animals in the area, like aiding oiled penguins, disentangling ensnared whales and collecting samples for the Mammal Research Institute on any beached whales and dolphins.

Logistical support is provided to PhD students, on all projects related to the conservation of the Marine Big 5 in the greater Dyer Island area.


The Nolwandle Craft Project was established to enable women from the nearby Masakhane township to become self sufficient in beading and craft work and their products are sold by the curio shop at The Great White House along with other markets that we source.

The Drum It Up campaign, is a recycling project in the area, with each bin painted with one of the Big 5 and representing metal, plastic, paper, glass and organic waste. Beach clean ups and educationals with the local schools are arranged on a regular basis.

National Awards:

Birdlife Overberg - Honorary Membership for Clean Marine Project

Birdlife SA - Blue Crane Award for faces of Need Project 2006
Birdlife SA - Eagle Award for penguin conservation project Faces of Need 2008

Overstrand Conservation Foundation Certificate of Appreciation

Mayor’s Floating Trophy for Environmental Conservationist (awarded to Wilfred Chivell) - 2009 Winner; 2007 - Runner-Up; 2004/2006 - Finalist

Birdlife SA - Eagle Award for penguin conservation project Faces of Need 2008

International Awards:

First Choice Responsible Tourism Award - 2006 Highly Commended in a Marine Environment

The entire Dyer ecosystem warrants conservation and research as it is through knowledge that we can protect our marine heritage.

Operates in: Gansbaai, Western Cape
Established in:

Non-Profit Organisation Number:
Public Benefit Organisation Number: 930032314
Section 21 Company Number:
Trust Number: 1881/413/14/8

Contact person: Brenda Walters
Phone: 082 907 5607
Fax: 028 384 2739
Physical address: Great White House, Kleinbaai
Postal address: P O Box 78, Gansbaai, 7220
Website: www.dict.org.za

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