Great White Shark with seal decoy Are you team shark or team seal? What does that mean and what difference does it make? First one needs to understand why the division is suggested in the first place. While many sharks eat other sharks, a variety of fish and other marine life, the abundant seal pup population in areas around the world, False Bay included, have made seals the default meal. Over-fishing and fining of smaller sharks and other fish that the Great Whites prey on exacerbates the situation for the seals. Fun Fact: Did you know about 12,000 seal pups are born on Seal Island between November and December each year? The seal's flesh is fatty and in the right quantities (basically a number of seal pups) can sustain the shark’s daily needs. People pay sometimes obscene amounts of money just to catch a glimpse of a kill or [...]
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Seal Blog: Team Seal Here are some Cape Fur Seal Facts I bet you didn’t know about! Here in the Southern Peninsula, our resident seals are the Cape Fur Seals. We do find other seal Sub-species along our coastline, such as the Leopard Seal, Elephant Sea and Sub-Antarctic Seal, however the Cape Furs are the only ones know to breed down here. Interestingly enough the Cape Fur Seal and the Australian Fur Seal are almost identical, their only differences being the geographical ranges. The Cape Fur is an eared Seal, unlike other seal species. On our trips out to Seal Island we come across hundreds and thousands of Cape Furs, either making their way back to the Island, coming from it, or breeding and relaxing on the rocky structure they call home. I find it particularly interesting how these marine mammals are adapted to escape the ever clutching jaws of [...]
August 9th With the arrival of Propguard back at the island, and two fantastic breaches on our decoy, the smiles have been returned to African Shark Eco Charters faces. Although activity is still not quite at the level we would expect at this time of the year, it’s definitely an improvement. Most of this week’s cage diving has been a bit of in-and-out of the cage, but nearly everyone who wanted to see from the cage managed to (with a bit of perseverance!). It is also really nice that most people on the boat have been in good spirits about it, and understood that it is nature we are dealing with. Apart from the few attraction techniques we use to try and get the great white sharks to the boat, there is very little we can do to make them come on demand! At the end of the day it [...]
Natural predation by Great White Sharks on Cape Fur Seals Anti-predatory strategies of Cape Fur Seals are often observed at Seal Island in False Bay, South Africa. Seal Island provides unique opportunities to observe natural predation by Great White Sharks on Cape Fur Seals, and to observe social interactions among both species. Cape Fur Seals are constantly aware of the imminent threat of Great White Sharks in the area, which is heightened during the winter months (June - August), when the predation of Great White Sharks on Cape Fur Seals is most intense. Cape Fur Seals have their own unique techniques to detect, avoid, outmaneuver and sometimes injure the Great White Shark in order to survive. These anti-predatory strategies of Cape Fur Seals primarily rely on vigilance and agility to outsmart their attacker. Great Whites often sport numerous scratches on their heads, most likely caused by seals defending themselves [...]
My fellow shark enthusiasts After missing 8 days at sea due to bad weather settling in for an extended stay over Cape Town we have been back on the water this past week and the sharks have been ready and waiting! We have had great success with our decoy on our recent trips with a hit almost every day. On anchor around the boat has been exciting as well with between 5-8 great white sharks making an appearance on average each day. Although the weather has been on the cold side, we’ve had an abundance of eager divers who have not been disappointed with the shark activity. What a special place Seal Island is to be able to view multiple great white sharks after only a 25 minute boat ride!What’s important to remember is that these great white sharks are rare; they are one of the rarest predators on the [...]
Good Day Fellow Shark Lovers.... Trust you all having a great week, we at African Shark Eco-Charters sure are after an unbelievable trip yesterday. Here is the low down on what happened on yesterdays Airjaws Shark Trip. Flat seas, lots of Seals and Orcas were the animals that we saw today, unfortunately we did not see any Great White Sharks today. Being nature, one can never guarantee anything, well we pretty much can always guarantee some seals, but not sharks and the highlight of the day........ORCAS!! Yes, today we saw 4 Orcas (killer whales) chasing a big school of dolphins probably 500 strong. The dolphins were doing big circles with the Orcas just cruising behind them waiting for the right moment to try make a catch. Above: An Orca moves behind the Common Dolphins notice the commotion in the water. So we stayed with the Orcas for a good hour [...]
Cape Fur Seals at Seal Island Cape Fur Seals are intensely curious animals, using their large, well developed eyes and sensitive mouths to investigate virtually everything in their environment. But when White Sharks are about, such curiosity is abandoned and all eyes search anxiously beneath the surface. Seal Island is populated by approximately 60 000 Cape Fur Seals. Adult male Cape Fur Seals are up to 2.7 meters in length and 350 kilograms in mass. They usually mature at about 3 years, but generally do not become large and powerful enough to defend breeding territories until around 10 to 14 years of age. Experienced bulls often attempt to reclaim the same breeding territories they held the previous year. Adult females are less than 2 meters and 100 kilograms in mass. Females mature at 2 to 3 years of age. In late October, the adult males come ashore on Seal Island [...]
Shot entirely by our Captain, shark legend Rob Lawrence, this journey under the waterline around the famous Seal Island will take you to a world inhabited by the famous flying sharks of False Bay.
The AIRJAWS tour is the most popular trip at African Shark Eco Charters. It's approx 5.5hrs long trip and ventures out to Seal Island in False Bay, South Africa. It is a combination trip of shark breaching and cage diving in one trip.
Let’s Talk About It – The Seven-Gill Cow Shark I decided to talk about the Sevengill Cow Shark this week, because against all that is “normal” we have been visited by these pre-historic looking, gentle sharks at Seal Island lately in the absence of our glorious Great Whites. Not to say that it hasn’t been wonderful, it’s just been different, as Cow Sharks tend to spend most of their time in deeper waters and kelp forests, only coming into shallower waters, it is believed, to breed. This is a cow shark...............................That is not a cow shark They make me think of the sock hand puppets we used to make as children, and though they are wild “animals” and need to be treated with respect, they are about as dangerous. They are called the “pre-historic” shark as a result [...]