15 Mar Partner Spotlight: Raggy Charters

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Raggy Charters, Whale & Dolphin Watching Business in South Africa.

Raggy Charters is the only licensed boat-based whale watching vessel in Port Elizabeth, South Africa offering clients a personalised ocean experience where you’ll have the opportunity to see whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, penguins and other sea birds in Algoa Bay. It was established in 1997 in order to fund the Baywatch Marine Conservation Project. Raggy Charters received the only Boat Based Whale & Dolphin Watching Permit for Algoa Bay in 2011, and make the welfare of the animals they encounter their top priority.

The Baywatch Marine Conservation Project was founded in 1992 with the purpose of educating the community, especially the youth, about the marine environment and the need for its conservation and protection. The Project also assists organisations responsible for marine law enforcement and marine research, as well as undertaking their own independent research. Funds from the marine eco-tours run by Raggy Charters go towards our continuous conservation efforts in Algoa Bay. As an owner run and managed business, Raggy Charters rely on volunteers to assist with boat the cruises and the Baywatch Project’s conservation efforts.

The team regularly visit schools, universities and other organisations with our their conservation presentation, with the aim of spreading the message about the importance of conserving our precious oceans and the incredible ecosystems that thrive within them. The most important message they want everyone to take away is the problem of ocean pollution and littering. Every day the team also conducts their own beach clean-ups, and encourage the children to come along and see for themselves what is happening to the beaches and to spend some time picking up the litter they find.

Raggy Charters is essentially dedicated to marine conservation and all aspects of marine life, which is possible through their marine eco-cruises. As part of their cruises they take guests to St Croix Island in Algoa Bay, which is home to the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world and thanks to research and data collection is set to become a Marine Protected Area. Between June and January ‘gentle giants’ humpback whales and southern right whales are encountered, both using the warm waters as breeding grounds. Not only that, they are lucky to boast some of the best bottlenose dolphin sightings in the world with 30,0000 individuals using Algoa Bay every year. Summer months also see humpback dolphins. Then between February and June they witness the incredible sardine run which creates feeding frenzies with thousands of common dolphins launching through the waves herding fish into a ball, with Cape gannets and other seabirds dive-bombing the shoal. Penguins, sharks, seals, game fish and Bryde’s and minke whale all join in the feast. Along with thousands of pelagic seabirds, including albratross, petrels and terns there really is something for everyone in Algoa Bay. Recently Raggy Charters and The Baywatch Project were instrumental in helping the Sustainable Seas Trust make Algoa Bay an internationally recognised Hope Spot. On December 11th 2011, Dr Sylvia Earle and her company Mission Blue launched the Algoa Bay Hope Spot. The initiative will join the Baywatch Project in education, research, beach clean-ups and other conservation efforts.

So why not join WCA Partner Raggy Charters in the magical Algoa Bay, South Africa.

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