Our History

After moving to Plettenberg Bay on a more permanent basis in 2017, marine biologists Frikkie van der Vyver and Danielle Conry realized a lack of scientific monitoring on certain vulnerable species that play a key role in the functioning of Plettenberg Bay’s marine ecosystem and tourism economy. Drawing on their network of research collaborators and contacts they started dedicating themselves to drive the development of long-term monitoring projects that could provide future conservation management decisions with scientific advice.

In 2018, after attracting the support of the local marine tourism industry, especially the ORCA Foundation (a conservation orientated voluntourism division of Ocean Blue Adventures), they were able to facilitate various projects in collaboration with the Port Elizabeth Museum and the Nelson Mandela University.

Then in 2019, out of the need to ensure long-term continuity of projects and mutually beneficial relationships, they initiated the development of Wild Ocean, a science-based marine conservation initiative that would attempt to raise awareness and funds for research.

Our Mission

"To promote the conservation and protection of marine species and the marine environment"

Our Strategy

To fulfill our mission we have identified four strategic pillars to help guide the role we play:

 

Research.

Provide technical support in the collection, management and interpretation of scientific data that can be used to better understand and conserve vulnerable marine species.

Conservation.

Provide conservation management authorities with updated scientific information needed to make informed decisions that can lead to improved policy and practice.

Collaboration. 

Facilitate collaboration among academic scientists, conservation organizations, fishing industries, marine tourism operators and the general public, thereby improving the impact of all sectors on marine conservation.

Awareness.

Create awareness about the need for marine conservation and translate the results of scientific findings to make it understandable to the general public, in so doing bridging the gap between the public, conservationists and scientists.

Who we are

Wild Ocean is driven by conservation biologists Frikkie van der Vyver and Danielle Conry, who have a combined experience of over 15 years in marine mammal and fisheries research and monitoring.

Co-Founder / Cetacean Biologist

Danielle is experienced in cetacean research, as well as marine mammal stranding response and necropsy. Her passion for cetaceans developed while growing up on the west coast of South Africa, where, as a young girl, she would spend hours observing…

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Co-Founder / Marine Biologist

Frikkie is a professional marine biologist with a MSc degree in fisheries science. He has been registered with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) since 2016. Over the past 10 years he has worked on numerous fisheries…

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Collaborators & Supporters

The success of our work depends on mutually beneficial relationships with the following industries.