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  • In Gansbaai, the largest white shark ever caught was at Danger Point and measured up to 5.9m. The exact world record white shark is a contested issue, but chances are it is between 6-7m.

  • If you see a white shark in the water don’t panic. Chances are high that the shark has already detected you and isn’t interested. White shark attacks are normally associated with poor visibility, so avoid murky conditions.

  • White sharks have a unique system called a “counter current heat exchange”, which keeps their body  tempreture +/- 7C above the surrounding water temperature. 

  • All sharks have an incredibly unique system on the tip of their nose called the “ampillae of Lorenzini”. These are small pores filled with a gel that transmits the electrical currents in the water to the shark’s brain so that it can assess its environment.

  • White sharks give birth to live young (not eggs), and they give birth to 6-8 pups at one time. Pups are usually between 1.0-1.5m in length and are born with teeth.

  • Body language has been a well documented form of shark communication and has identified body arching, jaw gaping, and other postures as specific social tactics.

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Awards and Commendations

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RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

Responsible tourism is tourism ‘that creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit’. A responsible tourism approach aims to achieve the triple-bottom line outcomes of sustainable development, i.e. economic growth, environmental integrity and social justice.
 
Marine Dynamics Responsible Tourism Policy reads as follows:
Our every activity is driven by our motto “Discover and Protect”. We consciously and actively: operate responsibly with due care for the marine and terrestrial environment; conduct ethical scientific research which contributes to the conservation of species; create conservation awareness amongst locals and visitors; contribute positively to the community and the economy in which we operate; offer fair wages and good working conditions for our employees; contribute positively to the protection of cultural heritage.

FAIR TRADE

Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) is a non-profit organisation that promotes responsible tourism in southern Africa and beyond. The aim of FTT is to make tourism more sustainable by ensuring that the people who contribute their land, resources, labour and knowledge to tourism are the ones who reap the benefits. Tourism businesses that adhere to the FTT standard use the FTT label as a way of signifying their commitment to fair and responsible tourism. This includes fair wages and working conditions, fair purchasing and operations, equitable distribution of benefits and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. By selecting an FTT-certified business, travellers are not only assured that their holiday benefits local communities and economies, and that the business is operated ethically and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, but they will also have a more fulfilling holiday experience. Marine Dynamics Tours and Dyer Island Cruises have been Fair Trade certified since 2008 and in 2015 will undergo Fair Trade group certification for the group of companies that includes Marine Dynamics, Dyer Island Cruises, the Great White House and the International Marine Volunteer Programme.

AWARDS

The companies and Wilfred Chivell have received awards as below:
  • African Responsible Toursim Award 2016 - People's Choice
  • African Responsible Tourism Award 2015 – Best for Wildlife Conservation
  • World Responsible Tourism Award – Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences Shortlisted 2013/Longlisted 2014
  • First Choice Responsible Tourism Award 2006 Dyer Island Cruises Highly Commended in a Marine Environment
  • Overstrand Mayor’s Floating Trophy for Environmental Conservation: 2004/2006 Finalist; 2007 Runner Up; 2009 Joint Winner; 2012 Winner
  • Birdlife Overberg: Honorary Membership for Clean Marine Project
  • Birldife South Africa: Blue Crane Award for Faces of Need Project 2006
  • Birdlife South Africa: Eagle Award for penguin conservation (Faces of Need 2008) (This is a once in a lifetime award)
  • Overstrand Conservation Foundation: Certificate of Appreciation
  • Business Partners: Regional Winner of Entrepreneur of 2005
  • Wilfred Chivell has been made an Honourary Life Member of the Shark Conservation Society UK
  • Lilizela National Awards 2015: Marine Adventure

RECOGNITION

Corporate Sponsorship – Volkswagen South Africa has been supporting DICT since 2010/11. This has included promoting the company as they understand that Marine Dynamics must be successful commercially in order to help in the achievement of the conservation goals. Volkswagen has provided DICT with two vehicles, sponsored fuel for these vehicles as well as fuel for the dedicated research vessel. Volkswagen has provided educational materials for the community outreach education programmes and sponsored various marketing materials such as T-shirts etc. Volkswagen is committed to the African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary going forward. Marine Dynamics must still actively fundraise every day to meet the conservation and research goals of the DICT.
 
Case studies: Both Dyer Island Cruises and Marine Dynamics have been used as case studies in University text books as well as cited as an example in books such as New Tourism Ventures and Africa-Continent of Economic Opportunity.