It's here! Winter has arrived and she's greeting us with strong winds, lots of rain and great viz to come. On recent shark cage diving trips to Seal Island in False Bay we have noticed a large increase of Great White Sharks ranging from mostly new sharks and a few of the old faces too. One shark in particular we have seen a few times on natural predations, scavenges and he has even breached on our decoy seal once or twice. We like to call him chopper due to a large portion of his dorsal fin being chopped off. Up until a couple days ago chopper had never come to the boat but rather focused on hunting around the island instead but the other day he decided to come pay us a visit giving the cage a few passes. Chopper is a rather large Great White Shark pushing 4.5m [...]
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Viewing Great White Sharks with Scuba Shark Cage Diving with Scuba is best and here is why!Here in False Bay for Great White Shark diving, African Shark Eco-Charters likes to lead the way, and we are one of the few operators that offer Scuba Air to our guests in the Shark Cage. To fully experience your dive with great white sharks you must consider using scuba gear. Today was a perfect example of why viewing great white sharks with scuba in the shark cage is better than just snorkeling or breath holding. It was a windy day and the sea was choppy, but the Great White Sharks were plentiful and active. Surface viewing was not ideal though, and all the guests, bar one, chose to dive. And they all chose to shark cage dive with scuba. We use the hookah system, which means the tanks stay on board and the cage is fixed to the side of the [...]
Great White Sharks were originally thought to only live up to around 25 - 30 years old, but a new study suggests that their lifespan may be far longer than previously thought, and that Great White Sharks may actually live well into their 70's! Previous research relied on counting the growth band pairs on a sharks vertebrae to determine it's age and growth rate, much like counting the rings on a tree, under the assumption that each band was equal to one year. Although, in many cases, this method is effective and true for part of or all of a specie's life, at some point growth rates and age are not necessarily in sync. Growth rates typically slow as sharks age and deposition rates in vertebrae can change once sharks reach sexual maturity, resulting in band pairs which are so thin that they are unreadable Therefore, the age of a shark is [...]
False Bay, South Africa is home to one of the World's largest populations of Great White Sharks, and provides a unique setting in which humans and sharks have had to learn how to co-exist. Shark Spotters is a pioneering shark safety programme which improves beach safety in False Bay by means of shark warnings and emergency assistance in the event of a shark incident. The Shark Spotters Programme contributes to research on shark ecology and behaviour, raises public awareness about shark-related issues, and provides employment opportunities and skills development for Shark Spotters. Alison Kock, the Research Manager for Shark Spotters, has spent the past eight years researching the behavior of Great White Sharks in False Bay for her PHD, and during 2013, she has completed three studies on the Great White Sharks along with the help of Save Our Seas. Here are a few interesting findings that resulted from the research of the Great [...]
Great White Sharks of False Bay - a definite "must see!" Traveler rating: "Must See!" Reviewed Dec 10, 2013 "Great white sharks trip around ... For those who like a bit of adrenaline, is the ideal place!!" Join us on one of our shark diving and “Airjaws” shark breaching trips to witness this spectacular breaching behaviour of the Great White Sharks. This is certainly something that you do not want to miss!Here is some further information on our Great White Shark breaching trips.We would consider our high season to be from May to end of August and the best months for the predation and breaching activity is during June, July and August. September is in between high and intermediate season. February and March is too early for breaching. Here our trips focus on the shark cage diving and surface viewing. Transfers: Optional: Return transfers from designated pickup points in Cape Town Duration: Approx [...]
Great White Shark displaying the unique ability of breaching out of the water Have you ever heard of these 10 interesting facts about Great White Sharks before? Known as one of the ocean’s greatest predators, the Great White Shark has grown to become quite a hit amongst travellers and tourists through Shark Cage Diving. If you are thinking about going shark cage diving then you will find the following facts about the Great White Shark quite interesting. Here are our top 10 interesting facts about Great White Sharks: The largest Great White Shark ever recorded was caught off Cojimar, Cuba and measured 6.4 m (21 feet) and roughly 3,312 kg (7,302 pounds). The average size of a Great White Shark is between 3.5 – 4.6 m. Although the Great White Shark can reach lengths of up to 6m, it is not the largest shark in the ocean, but it is the biggest [...]
Every once in a while something happens that makes us very angry here at African Shark Eco-Charters, and recently it was brought to our attention that two Anglers had landed a Great White Shark off the rocks in Mossel Bay, using not one but two Gaff hooks with the intention of killing the Great White Shark. Any experienced angler if they caught a Great White Shark by mistake would very easily be able to cut the line as close as possible to the mouth and released the Shark. Lucky for us here in South African killing Great White Sharks is illegal to kill or target Great White Sharks as they are listed as vulnerable to extinction, but to date only one angler has been sentenced to R120 000 or 12 months in prison, for catching a Great White Shark in this very same area of Mossel Bay. It is this [...]
What Age do Great White Sharks Reach Here at African Shark Eco-Charters, we have recently been getting a lot of questions about what age do Great White Sharks reach, and there is no easy answer to this question, because there is not really a lot of data on this, the main source of information we gather is from the inshore habitats of the Great White Shark that we easily access, and this is not a true reflection of the Great White Shark in its natural habitat. If you look at the existing estimates and the research that they are based on you will get an answer of between 25 to possibly more than 100 years, but this range is far too wide and collected by very unspecific methods so it cannot be called accurate. The biggest problem is how do you age a Great White Shark, recently Great White Sharks have [...]
Great White Sharks Migration Patterns All of us at African Shark Eco-Charters, get to spend a lot of time with the Great White Sharks in False Bay, and they are fascinating animals, one of the most fascinating secrets of these Great Whites is their Migration patterns as they do not live here in False Bay permanently, but rather move to other parts of the globe with great efficiency. It has only been recently that we have been able to unlock this secret due to the recent tagging of the Great White Sharks. Migration is one of the great mysteries of the animal kingdom that continue to elude scientists worldwide. While this phenomenon is witnessed in all major animal groups, including birds, mammals, insects, crustaceans, fish, reptiles and amphibians, surprisingly little definitive knowledge is understood about its mechanisms and specifics. Broadly, migration refers to the large scale movement of an animal [...]
Following our previous blog post on the anti-predatory strategies of the Cape Fur Seals at Seal Island, here is a post which focuses on the different breaching techniques used by Great White Sharks when hunting for prey. Over millions of years, Great White Sharks have adapted their hunting techniques to include breaching as an effective means to hunt certain species of prey. Seal Island in False Bay, South Africa is home to the "flying" Great White Sharks, and offers the unique opportunity to witness the highest number of natural predatory events between Great White Sharks and Cape Fur Seals in the world. Great White Sharks rely on stealth, camouflage and speed when hunting, and the breaching technique is most effective as it provides the Great White Sharks with an element of surprise as they explode from the water with explosive speed to capture their prey. A massive "Polaris" breach in pursuit of the [...]