Are Great White Sharks the Apex Predator in False Bay? We have a perfect job at African Shark Eco-Charters, being able to go out everyday in the marine rich environment of False Bay, we get the chance to see first hand many of the wonderful species that we share this bay with. Many people when they hear the word “shark” in False Bay immediately think of great white sharks. But, False Bay is home to an incredible diversity of sharks, rays, skates and chimeras’(all cartilaginous fish) with 27 different species, representing 15 families recorded in the inshore waters of the bay. Most of these are potential prey for great whites, especially the hound sharks, bronze whalers and guitar sharks. As the saying goes "Man cannot live on Bread alone" :the same can be said for Great White Sharks, they cannot survive on a diet of only Seal. So they hunt [...]
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In light of the recent shark attack of an abalone diver in Western Australia on Tuesday, the 8th of October 2013, a catch and kill order was issued to cull the suspected Great White Shark responsible for the attack. Greg Pickering, 55, was diving for abalone off Poison Creek at Cape Arid National Park, about 180 kilometres east of Esperance, when he was attacked by a suspected Great White Shark on Tuesday morning. He was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital where he underwent surgery for the serious injuries sustained to his torso and face. This is the second shark attack that Mr Pickering has survived, the first one being in 2004 when he was bitten on the leg by a 1.5 metre Bronze Whaler Shark while in waters near Cervantes, north of Perth. The Fisheries Department set up traps in the area after orders were given for the animal to [...]
With Spring under way and the end of our Great White Shark cage diving season in False Bay approaching, African Shark Eco-Charters would like to raise the shark awareness for all beach and ocean users of the seasonal increase of Great White Sharks in the in-shore area during the summer months. Great White Sharks are present off the coast of South Africa all year round but there is a distinct seasonal pattern to the presence and absence of Great White Sharks, which is mainly dictated by what they are feeding on at the time. This seasonal movement behaviour is not unique to False Bay, and has also been recorded in Gansbaai, Mossel Bay and even California. There have already been 3 sightings of Great White Sharks in-shore in the past week, resulting in Muizenberg and St James beaches being closed for a short period of time while the Shark Spotters safely vacated the people from the water. [...]
Cage diving with Great White Sharks - a must while in Cape Town " What a crazy fun experience! I will start out by saying, if you get motion sickness be sure to take your meds! The sea looked extremely calm on shore but was very different once out where we anchored. The entire crew is very professional and provided good instruction throughout the entire morning. The journey begins with a 25 minute boat ride to Seal Island where you can see thousands of seals and begin to watch for shark kills. After awhile a decoy seal is pulled behind the boat and we were lucky enough to see a Great White Shark attack it which was very neat. We then suited up with our wet suits and all the accessories while the crew lures in Great White Sharks directly next to the boat for the cage diving. The view [...]
Why do Great White Sharks move inshore? The Great White Sharks’ inshore movement starts to be seen as spring time arrives in Cape Town. As the sea temperatures begin to warm up False Bay, and the wind patterns start to change from a North Westerly to a South Easterly wind , the bay's see's an abundant of sea life coming in. Its still very cold here in False Bay, and the SE wind is icy to our bones, but for the last two weeks the SE wind has been blowing, and already there has been an inshore shark sighting. It seems as if on cue, the sharks internal clocks are telling them its time to head inshore. We are still having very good shark sightings at Seal Island, but the inshore sighting and the dying down of the predation activity seen on our shark trips is a sign that we [...]
We met the crew of African Shark Eco-Charters on the dock in Simon's Town, South Africa, an hour before sunrise. It was 40 degrees F with a 25 mph breeze blowing in from the ocean, wintertime in the Southern Hemisphere. Even as I zipped my windbreaker, I realized it was not quite up to the task. "We haven't been out for three days because of the weather, but we are going to try it today and see what happens," said divemaster Gary. "There are big swells out there, but the forecast says it may calm down later." We followed him down a few steps, onto the boat, and in the dim light from the pier we got our first glimpse of the metal cage we had traveled 10,000 miles to climb into. It was little more than 2 feet wide, 6 feet long and 8 feet tall. Within a few [...]
Come Dive with great white sharks. A creature that remains one of the ocean’s great secrets. Mysterious, cloaked in myth, superstition and an abundance of bad press, there are few known actual facts about these elusive predators. We do know that they are far more fearsome in our imaginations than in reality. Perhaps it is because we know so little about them that we fear them so irrationally. While we know a lot about their physical characteristics and internal physiology and even a good deal about their feeding behaviour, this is where the knowledge ends. How much of their behaviour is ‘learned’ in terms of intellect and how much is instinctual remains a great mystery. While great white sharks often display high levels of curiosity, it’s hard to say if this is based on complex intelligence or a more visceral characteristic based on being an opportunistic feeder. The social behaviour of [...]
A creature that remains one of the ocean’s great secrets is the great white shark. Mysterious, cloaked in myth, superstition and an abundance of bad press, there are few known actual facts about these elusive predators. We do know that they are far more fearsome in our imaginations than in reality. Perhaps it is because we know so little about them that we fear them so irrationally. While we know a lot about their physical characteristics and internal physiology and even a good deal about their feeding behaviour, this is where the knowledge ends. How much of their behaviour is ‘learned’ in terms of intellect and how much is instinctual remains a great mystery. While great white sharks often display high levels of curiosity, it’s hard to say if this is based on complex intelligence or a more visceral characteristic based on being an opportunistic feeder. The social behaviour of [...]
Seal Island in False Bay, South Africa is the best place to see the breaching Great White Shark Where Can You Find Great White Sharks? The Great White Shark is one of the most widely distributed of all sharks and you can find Great White Sharks in almost every region of the globe from cold seas to the tropics, and from coastal to oceanic seas. You mainly find Great White Sharks between the latitudes of 60° North and 60° South, in waters ranging in temperature between 14° C and 24° C. Research has shown that Great White Sharks do not remain long in any particular place, and instead will only stay in a certain region for a few weeks on end. Great White Sharks are also capable of extensive open ocean voyages, covering vast distances around the globe. Generally the Great White Shark is considered rare in most [...]
“Flying” Great Whites of False Bay Airjaws 1 and 2 is the most successful shark show ever made by Discovery Channel, and it concentrates on the “flying” (breaching) great white sharks of Seal Island, False Bay, South Africa. The boat it was filmed on was the ‘Blue Pointer”, operated by Rob Lawrence of African Shark Eco-Charters. According to Rodney Fox, Peter Benchley and Rocky Strong, as well as the whole National Geographic film crew who were out with us in 1999, they believe it to be the best place on the planet to see natural predator-prey interaction as well as other unique behaviours such as Great White Shark breaching. Rob helped produce and starred in “Air Jaws”. Since then the Discovery Channel has completed filming on “Air Jaws II” with him, and African Shark Eco-Charters has facilitating several international film crews every year including the Discovery Channel, the BBC [...]