Licensing & Code of Conduct

We are passionate about what we do and how we do it. By doing so we commit to a Code of Conduct as a permitted whale and dolphin watching operator and therefor require that our guests too commit and adhere to the Code of Conduct. Kindly note the following rules and responsibilities:

Code of Conduct for Guests on Board the Vessel

  • Please listen, understand and obey the skippers pre-departure safety briefing.
  • Every passenger and crew must wear a safety jacket / flotation device during the trip.
  • Secure all hats and photographic equipment – Place bags in the compartments provided.
  • Passengers to remain seated and hold on securely while the vessel is in motion.
  • Clean our Oceans – Please assist the skipper to collect any floating litter or objects
  • Please assist your skipper and point in the direction with any sightings of marine life.
  • NO TOUCHING OR FEEDING of any marine or bird life.
  • Please respect marine life & refrain from making loud noises. No screaming or loud noises.
  • Enjoy the beauty of the ocean, the coastline and the abundance of marine and bird life.

OCEAN ODYSSEY CHARTERS CC – Code of Conduct for vessels approaching whales

As a permitted boat based whale and dolphin watching operator we abide by the following code:

Ocean Odyssey Charters, its staff and management, are committed to the educational value of whale and dolphin watching. As responsible operators, we enable the sharing of the wider marine conservation message with as many as possible, especially the young. We aim to provide a platform for research and the gathering of routine information that will help in the wider understanding of whales and dolphins along the coastline of Knysna, Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa.

As a “RESPONSIBLE” whale and dolphin watching operator, we strongly adhere to the statutory guidelines as laid out in our permit conditions issued by Department of Environmental Affairs, (under Marine and Living Resources act 18 of 1988) and to operate ethically and sustainably within our sensitive environment.

  • Slowly approach Cetaceans sideways.
  • Never cross the path of a Cetacean or a group of Cetaceans.
  • Slow down to a “no-wake” speed, and maintain a steady direction.
  • Sever split a pod or group of Cetaceans.
  • Dolphins and Whales should never feel encircled.
  • Be especially aware of the presence of mothers and calves.
  • Never spend more than 20 minutes with Cetaceans.
  • Never feed cetaceans.
  • Try to make as little noise as possible.
  • Be aware of possible signs of distress.
  • Protected areas (Marine protected areas) must be respected.

Goukamma Marine Protected Area (MPA)

What is a Marine Protected Area? It is an area set aside to restrict human activity for conservation purposes

Goukamma MPA is a 14km long coastal stretch comprising of rocky and sandy shores and a semi-closed estuary. Located between Knysna and Sedgefield, in the town of Buffalo Bay in the Goukamma Nature Reserve. It extends 1 nautical mile offshore. No boat angling is allowed within the MPA. The area is a breeding area for Oystercatcher birds and the offshore reefs are important habitat for commercially exploited fish species. Threats: Are over-exploitation by shore anglers, over exploitation of offshore reefs on the border of MPA, extraction of water from the estuary, bait collecting, dogs disturbing birds on the beaches and beach wall development.