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Allocation process for boat-based whale watching and white shark cage diving operating permits

       
Public notice
 
Areas and number of permits
 
Submission of application forms
BBWW background
 
Policy documents and templates
                     

Public Notice

 

Queries and responses on permit allocation process

 

» Queries and responses - 07 July 2017

» Queries  and responses - 03 July 2017

» Queries and responses 2017

 

 

National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) read together with the Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations  

Invitation to apply for permits to undertake Boat Based Whale and Dolphin Watching and White Shark Cage Diving operations in terms of the Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations   

The Chief Director: Specialist Monitoring Services of the Department of Environmental Affairs hereby invites applications for permits to conduct a:  

  • White Shark Cage Diving (WSCD) operation; and/or
  • Boat Based Whale and Dolphin Watching (BBWW) operation  

The permits will be allocated in terms of National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) read together with the Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations in Government Gazette 40876 of 30 May 2017 as well as the following Policies:  

  • Policy for the Management of White Shark Cage Diving;  and 
  • Policy on Boat Based Whale and Dolphin Watching in Government Gazette 40878 of 31 May 2017.  

Distribution  

Application forms and policy documents will be made available and distributed during the distribution process as indicated in the table below.

The Policy documents, enacted regulations as well as a template of the application form can also be downloaded from the Department’s website at www.environment.gov.za  

 

PROVINCE VENUE ADDRESS TIME DATE
Western Cape Saldanha Fisheries Compliance Office, Saldanha Bay Harbour. Saldanha 08h00 – 15h00 20 July 2017
Cape Town Muizenberg Civic, Muizenberg 08h00  - 15h00 19 July 2017
08h00  - 15h00 20 July 2017
Mossel Bay Fisheries Compliance Office, 64 Bland Street, Searlor Manor, Mossel Bay 08h00 – 15h00 20 July 2017
Northern Cape Port Nolloth Port Nolloth City Hall (Stadsaal), Port Nolloth 08h00 – 15h00 20 July 2017
Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth Fisheries Compliance Office, 21 Stanley Street, Central Port Elizabeth 08h00 – 15h00 20 July 2017
Port St Johns Fisheries Compliance Office, 433 Bridge Street, Port St Johns 08h00 – 15h00 20 July 2017
KwaZulu-Natal Durban KZN Wildlife Office, 3 Elton Place, Congella KZN 08h00 – 15h00 20 July 2017
Sodwana Bay Mbazwana Library Auditorium, Sodwana Main Road, Mbazwana 08h00 – 15h00 20 July 2017
         

 

N.B: Attendance to the distribution process is not mandatory and applicants who fail to or are unable to attend, will not be disqualified in this regard.

Application forms may be available on request through the following corresponding email addresses: bbww@environment.gov.za and wscd@environment.gov.za before 16H00 Friday 16 June 2017.

Applicants who are unable to go to one of the distribution venues or who prefer to electronically receive an application form containing a unique application reference number must send an email to the following corresponding email addresses: bbww@environment.gov.za and wscd@environment.gov.za.

Each application form contains a unique application reference number. Therefore the application form should not be shared.

Existing permit holders applying for a permit must register and collect the application form titled ‘EXISTING PERMIT HOLDER’. All applicants who are not existing permit holders must apply using an application form titled ‘NEW ENTRANT’.

All queries relating to the permit application process should be e-mailed to either bbww@environment.gov.za and/or wscd@environment.gov.za respectively Responses to queries will be published weekly on the Department’s website (www.environment.gov.za) and e-mailed to all registered applicants during the application period.

Queries received after close of business on Friday 14 July 2017 will not be dealt with.

Areas and number of permits

 

Areas Number of Permits
Boat-Based Whale Watching 
Port Nolloth 1
Lambert’s Bay 1
St Helena Bay-Sandy Point 1
Saldanha Bay 1
Cape Town 1
Hout Bay 1
Cape Point- Kalkbaai 1
Gordons Bay 1
Hermanus 3
Gans Bay (Gansbaai) 1
Kleinbaai 2
Arniston and Struis Bay (Struisbaai) 1
Stilbaai 1
Mossel Bay 2
Knysna 1
Plettenberg Bay 2
Cape St Francis 1
Port Elizabeth 2
Kenton on Sea 1
Port Alfred 1
East London 1
Kei-Umgazi rivers 2
Umgazi-Umtanvuna rivers 2
Shelley Beach 2
Durban 3
Richards Bay 1
St Lucia 2
Sodwana Bay 1
White Shark Cage Diving
Seal Island, False Bay 3
Dyer Island, Gansbaai 9
Quoin Rock, Quoin Point 2
Seal Island, Mossel Bay 1
Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth 2
N.B: WSCD Permit holders in the Seal Island, Mossel Bay and Quoin Point areas will not be allowed to operate from 1 December until 20 January of the next year due to school holidays.

 

Submission of application forms

 
Applications must be lodged before 15H00 on Thursday 20 July 2017 (“the closing date”). 
 
Applications for permits must  only be lodged at the following times and places:
 
Province Venue Address Time Date

Western Cape

Saldanha Fisheries Compliance Office, Saldanha Bay Harbour. Saldanha 08h00 – 15h00 20July 2017
Cape Town Muizenberg Civic Hall, Beach Rd, Muizenberg 08h00 - 15h00 20July 2017
Mossel Bay Fisheries Compliance Office, 64 Bland Street, Searlor Manor, Mossel Bay 08h00 – 15h00 20July 2017
Northern Cape Port Nolloth

Port Nolloth City Hall (Stadsaal), Port Nolloth

08h00 – 15h00 20July 2017
Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth Fisheries Compliance Office, 21 Stanley Street, Central Port Elizabeth 08h00 – 15h00 20July 2017
Port St Johns Fisheries Compliance Office, 433 Bridge Street, Port St Johns 08h00 – 15h00 20July 2017
Kwa-Zulu Natal Durban KZN Wildlife Office, 3 Elton Place, Congella KZN 08h00 – 15h00 20July 2017
Sodwana Bay Mbazwana Library Auditorium, Main Road, Mbazwana 08h00 – 15h00 20July 2017
 

 

Applications for a Boat Based Whale Watching Permit at St Lucia or Sodwana Bay

Applicants applying for a boat based whale and dolphin watching permit for St Lucia or Sodwana Bay must submit a separate application for a concession to operate within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Application forms for the concession are obtainable from iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority by emailing bids@iSimangaliso.com. Applicants applying for BBWW permit for St Lucia or Sodwana Bay must submit applicable concession issued by the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority or proof of application for a concession to operate within the Park. Applications for a concession to operate within the park will be evaluated and assessed by the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority.

No white shark cage diving permits will be issued in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Any application for a permit regardless of the area applied for will be distributed and accepted at all centres including Sodwana Bay. Applications for a concession to operate within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park will only be distributed and received by iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority.

Application Fees

Applicants will be required to pay an application fee of R9123.00.00 for a BBWW and/or WSCD application as indicated in the Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations. Application fees may only be paid by electronic deposit or transfer into the following bank account using the Reference Number: 06399420 (and the Company name):

Bank: ABSA

Branch:  Pretoria

Branch Code: 632005

Account Name: Department of Environmental Affairs

Account No: 4079816531

Account: Cheque Account

Deposit Reference: 06399420 and the Company name

Applicants must quote their Company name as the reference number at the time of payment. Proof of payment must be attached to the application form when it is submitted. Application forms without a proof of payment attached will not be processed.

Applicants must submit a separate application form for each area applied for but will only be required to pay one application fee regardless of the number of applications submitted in a particular sector. Applicants applying for both BBWW and WSCD permits will be required to pay the application fee for each sector. Where more than one application is submitted in the same sector, the Company name must be quoted as a reference for payment.

Additional application fees for concession to operate within the Isimangaliso wetland park will apply

Application fees are non-refundable

Application forms will only be distributed and receipted as stated above.

In the case of inconsistency between the English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu texts of any policy, form or other document, the English text prevails.

All application forms must be completed in English.

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Background

 

Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching (BBWW) is the observing of whales and dolphins behaviour in their natural environment from sea-going vessels, while White Shark Cage Diving (WSCD) involves observing free swimming Great White Sharks from vessels and/or from within a protective cage that is submerged in water. Both BBWW and WSCD have grown from adhoc activities to regulated commercial operations contributing to coastal and marine tourism.

Since 2011, permitting of boat-based whale watching and white shark cage diving operations has been carried out by the Department; after completion of a comprehensive and lengthy allocation process. Permits were allocated in terms of section 13 of the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998 (MLRA) and were renewable annually for a period of five (5) years. Thus, permitting of BBWW and WSCD is recognized as a significant tool to promote conservation of species such as whales, dolphins and sharks while supporting sustainable, nature-based tourism.

A number of measures have been implemented to support sustainable BBWW and WSCD. These includes development of policies to guide the process and decision making for permit allocation process, promote the growth of these sectors as well as raise awareness, education and instil conservation ethics. Enacted regulations relating to BBWW and WSCD also set out provision and general prohibitions to enforce compliance and encourage awareness and action for these species.

In June 2017, the Department will commence with the application process for boat-based whale watching and shark cage diving operating permits. This follows revision of policies on boat-based whale and dolphin watching and White Shark Cage Diving gazetted in Government Gazette 40878 of 31 May 2017.  The policies aim to improve regulatory and compliance frameworks in both sectors, transform the sectors in line with B-BBEE Tourism Sector Codes and B-BBEE Act and allocate a sustainable number of permits. The permits will be allocated for a period not exceeding 10 years in terms of National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) read together with the Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations, 2017 (Government Gazette 40876 of 30 May 2017). 

Thus, BBWW will be permitted in the following designated areas:

  • Port Nolloth; Lamberts Bay;
  • St Helena Bay;
  • Saldanha Bay;
  • Cape Town;
  • Hout Bay;
  • Kalk Bay;
  • Gordons Bay;
  • Hermanus;
  • Gans Bay/Gansbaai;
  • Kleinbaai;
  • Arniston Struis Bay;
  • Mossel Bay; Knysna;
  • Plettenberg Bay;
  • Cape St Francis;
  • Port Elizabeth;
  • Kenton on Sea;
  • Port Alfred;
  • East London;
  • Kei--Umgazi Rivers;
  • Umgazi-Umtanvuna rivers;
  • Shelley Beach; Durban;
  • Richards Bay;
  • St Lucia and Sodwana Bay.

WSCD is limited to areas where Great White Sharks aggregate naturally and mostly at seal colonies. Thus, WSCD will be limited to Seal Island in False Bay, Dyer Island in Gansbaai, Quoin Rock at Quoin Point, Seal Island in Mossel Bay and Algoa Bay in the Port Elizabeth area.

Applicants wishing to apply for permit(s) may visit the venues on the dates specified by the Department to obtain the application form(s).

Applicants who are unable to go to the distribution venues or who prefer to electronically receive an application form containing a unique application reference number must send an email to the corresponding email addresses: bbww@environment.gov.za and wscd@environment.gov.za. Each application form contains a unique application reference number. Therefore the application forms should not be shared.

See below more information including the Policy documents, Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations as well as a template of the application forms:

 

Policy documents and templates
  • Policy on BBWW


All enquiries relating to the permit application process can be directed to bbww@environment.gov.za or wscd@environment.gov.za or at +2721 819 2510. 

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