Woohoo! We’ve achieved another first!
Our boats Oyster Catcher, Sousa, and Dolphin II have been awarded Blue Flag status for the 2015/16 year. This means that they – and our skippers – conform to the highest standards in environmental codes of conduct. AND we’re the only company in South Africa operating Blue Flag Boats out of a Blue Flag Marina!
69 beaches, 6 marinas, and 9 boats were awarded Blue Flag Status when the 2015-16 Blue Flag Season was launched at Grotto Beach in Hermanus on the 6 October, 2015. (36 beaches, 5 marinas, and 8 boats in the Western Cape Province; 14 beaches, 1 marina, and 1 boat in the Eastern Cape; and 19 beaches in KwaZulu-Natal.)
South Africa’s Blue Flag Season begins on 1 November, 2015.
“We’re proud to have joined the small but growing number of boats in South Africa that’ve received Blue Flags,” said Ocean Odyssey’s owner, Evelyn Pepler.
“The Blue Flag programme fits exactly with the principles that we hold most dearly: the conservation of our marine resources through access that’s sensitive to the environment and that provides visitors with both a high quality experience and excellent educational opportunities.
“The inclusion of boats into the Blue Flag programme is a relatively new departure,” she said. “The fact that our boats carry the Blue Flag will help potential guests to make informed decisions about supporting us – because the boats are subjected to stringent judging by an organisation that’s achieved international recognition for its ethical standards.”
The Thesen Islands Marina – the home of Ocean Odyssey’s boat-based whale watching and marine eco-tours – has also been awarded Blue Flag Status for the coming season.
“Like Blue Flag beaches, Blue Flag marinas are rated according to a set of criteria that includes safety, cleanliness and the quality of the facilities, as well as the availability of environmental information and the quality of the environmental management.
“All of this makes Ocean Odyssey and Knysna unique – we’re the only Blue Flag boats operating out of a Blue Flag marina in a town that has two Blue Flag Beaches (Buffalo Bay and Brenton-on-Sea), while the Garden Route as a whole (the Hessequa and Eden districts) boasts a total of 26 out of the country’s 84 Blue Flag assets.”
Book your Close Encounter whale watching or Marine Eco-Tour here.
Environmental Code of Conduct for Boats
The Environmental Code of Conduct for boats as given on Blue Flag’s international web site states that:
- I will not throw garbage into the sea or along the coast.
- I will not release toilet water in coastal waters and sensitive areas.
- I will not release poisonous or toxic waste (oil, paint, used batteries, cleaning agents, etc.) in the sea. I will deliver these types of waste to the containers in the marina.
- I will promote and use recycling facilities (glass, paper, etc.).
- I will use the most environmentally friendly products that are available and work efficiently.
- I will instantly report pollution or other violation of environmental regulations to the authorities.
- I will not engage in forbidden fishing practices and I will respect periods when fishing is prohibited.
- I will protect animals and plants in the sea, including no disturbance of breeding birds, seals or other marine mammals.
- I will respect vulnerable and nature protected areas.
- I will avoid damaging the sea floor (in the way that I anchor, etc.).
- I will avoid disturbing fishery or fishing gear.
- I will not buy or use objects made from protected species or from archaeological underwater findings.
- I will encourage other boaters to take care of the environment.
South Africa’s Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA – the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.