Blue Flag Status for The Vessels of Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises
Whale Whisperer was the pilot blue flag boat in South Africa and now we have both vessels, Dream Catcher and Whale Whisperer, Blue Flag certified. This year provided the first opportunity for shark cage diving vessels able to apply for Blue Flag certification and Slashfin is now a proud representative as well.
Blue Flag in South Africa is managed by WESSA (Wildlife Environmental Society of South Africa). Applications for the prestigious Blue Flag eco-label were reviewed by a rigorous approval process concerning national and international assessments. It was announced at the annual launch last week that a total of eight sustainable tourism boats, of which all are based in the Western Cape, received Blue Flag status.
Responsible Traveller Magazine owner, Tessa Buhrmann, accepted the Blue Flags on behalf of Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises in a dynamic event held in Kwazulu-Natal. “It was an honour to represent Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises as, not only are they committed to conservation and research, but as a Fair Trade Tourism certified business they operate with an ethos of having a positive impact on both people and the planet. This is summed up by their tag line – ‘Your choice makes a difference’,” said Tessa.
Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom was at the Blue Flag Launch and commented on his shark cage diving experience with Marine Dynamics: “Seeing the sharks is not just something memorable that you enjoy, it’s done in a responsible way so that we don’t disturb our precious marine life. So yes, you can get close to the sharks but to find out more about sharks, what they mean to our ecology, to our environment and so in getting people out there which is a tourism experience which is great, we also are announcing an awareness of these marine resources that we need to protect together.”
Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises are instrumental in the Gansbaai area by investing and participating in these prestigious projects to ensure only the best service and quality excursions to our shared tourism clients in the Overberg region,” says marketing executive Cari du Preez.
“Today's traveller is more discerning and very keen to have information about the businesses whom they spent their money with. Information is also easy to verify and it is general practice to look for industry endorsements to assist with decision making. The Blue Flag programme is known to cover pristine beaches but also includes marinas and boats. As part of the infrastructure these are very necessary categories that are part of the tourism experience. Marine Dynamics has been the recipient of many sustainable tourism awards and the Blue Flag endorsement is a further feather in their responsible cap.” Frieda Lloyd, Cape Whale Coast Tourism Manager.
According to Gansbaai Tourism Manager, Glenda Kitley: “It comes to no surprise that Dyer Island Cruises’ two vessels have once again been awarded Blue Flag status, and that Marine Dynamics’s vessel has also been included this year. We are well aware that they meet a high standard of excellence in all of their business aspects. We are extremely pleased and proud that they have been awarded this status as a reward for all the hard work, care and passion that is put in to ensure that the tourist has a wonderful and safe experience. We extend hearty congratulations to Wilfred and his team!
The Western Cape has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites, with 29 of the beaches, all eight boats and four of the five Blue Flag marinas falling in the province.
Brenda du Toit, firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 0760613114
Cari du Preez email@example.com Ph: 0825280341
Marine Dynamics provides a five star shark cage diving experience while educating tourists on the importance of the Great White Shark as an apex predator crucial to our oceans ecosystem. Marine Dynamics together with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT), which was established by company owner, Wilfred Chivell, provides logistical and onsite support for valuable scientific research on this species, to ultimately protect the species on which many people’s livelihood depends. Together with sister company Dyer Island Cruises, the companies contribute more than a R1 million to DICT per annum and actively fundraises from clients daily. This level of research coming from Gansbaai attracts much international interest which further attracts scientists and tourists to the area. Educational efforts to the community are part of the strategy to further protect this valuable ecosystem. www.sharkwatchsa.com / www.whalewatchsa.com
Tessa Buhrman with Derek Hanekom and Thommie Burger