African Shark Eco-Charters

/Tag:African Shark Eco-Charters

Blue sharks

By | June 14th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

Blue sharks get their name from the beautiful blue colour of the skin on their back and sides. These sharks are extremely wide-ranging and can be found in both tropical and temperate seas, in waters between 7 and 16 degrees Celsius. They are also known for producing large litters of pups, between 4 and 135 pups at a time, with the number of pups determined by the size of the female. This species is usually found in deep waters, up to 350 metres and are considered a pelagic or blue water shark species. While out in the deep blue this species feeds mostly on fish species including cod, herring, hake and mackerel but have also been known to feed on whale carcasses and sea birds. As an opportunistic feeder these sharks have also been known to eat plastic and other marine pollution. These sharks can reach lengths up to 3.8 [...]

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Baby sharks and shark eggs

By | June 6th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

Many sharks lay eggs, called mermaids purses, which attach to marine vegetation or rocks, while others hatch inside the female and are live born. Species in which the eggs hatch inside the female often exhibit what is called intrauterine cannibalism, where shark pups still in the womb eat their siblings and other unfertilized eggs.  Others species, such as the great white shark, have pups that grow inside the female attached to the uterus, as in mammals, with gestation lasting anywhere from five months to two years. However sharks as a class of animals will never win a parent of the year award as baby sharks once born or hatched are left to fend completely for themselves. You can often find empty shark egg cases at the beach and you can usually tell which species it is from because different species produce different shaped egg cases. The baby sharks inside chew [...]

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Shark Teeth

By | June 6th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

The part that scares people most about sharks has got to be all those sharp and pointy teeth, but you can actually tell a lot about sharks based on their teeth.   Most well publicized are the serrated triangular upper teeth of great white sharks, perfect for tearing into their prey, the Cape fur seal. However what most people don’t know is that juvenile white sharks actually have small unserrated needle-like teeth more like those seen on ragged tooth, mako and bull sharks. Now you may wonder how and why that would be, the answer is simple, juvenile white sharks feed on different prey to their larger counterparts and have teeth perfectly adapted to do so. White sharks up to about 2.5 to 3.5 metres feed on fish mostly and thus need those shark pointed teeth to keep hold of those slippery fish and swallow them whole. Obviously as they [...]

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The Seven Gilled Cow Sharks of False Bay

By | May 20th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

The Seven Gilled Cow Sharks of False Bay. Interestingly enough all sharks once possessed seven pairs of gill slits. Through evolution and many, years of defining, some shark species lost a pair or two of their gill slits. The broadnose sevengill however did not. The seven gills, or Cow Sharks, as we prefer to call them, have been around for millions of years, and fascinatingly enough have not had the urge to evolve much at all. The old naval base of Simon’s Town in the southern peninsula, offers one of the most fantastic shore diving sights in the world. Amidst the kelp and age old boulders lies another ancient species, the cow shark. This majestically old shark shares a primitive skeleton similar to that of the fossils of extinct sharks, hence the fact we believe it to be millions of years old. Enjoying a healthy diet of large fish, squid, [...]

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Being Shark Smart in the Water this Summer

By | October 31st, 2014|Tour Happening's|

With summer on its way and the Great White Sharks moving closer inshore, our shark cage diving season in False Bay has officially come to an end, and African Shark Eco-Charters thought it would be a good idea to remind everyone to keep shark smart in the water and to obey the Shark Spotter’s Flag Warning System. Considering the number of people who use the ocean on a daily basis, the actual number of attacks by Great White Sharks is extremely low. People are not the natural prey of the Great White Sharks. Everyone entering the ocean should do so at their own discretion,  knowing that they are entering a wild environment in which sharks  naturally live. Stay shark smart!  We are entering their territory; they are not coming into ours. Shark Safety Tips If people exercise caution and are aware of their environment, the risk of an attack can be [...]

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Seven Gill Cow Shark Diving with African Shark Eco Charters

By | September 29th, 2014|Tour Happening's|

The Cow Shark is characterized by an extra pair, or pairs of Gill Slits. There are 37 species in the family Hexanchidae, but the one being discussed here is the Spotted Cow Shark, or 7 Gill Cow Shark.  These incredibly inquisitive creatures are known as the most primitive of all Sharks; due to the fact their skeletons resemble those of ancient extinct forms, with extremely modern adaptions.   Why this Shark is so interesting is due to the seventh Gill slit that it hosts. Being ovoviviparous, the mother carries the egg cases inside her until they hatch, and they feed off large fish, other Sharks, crustaceans and carrion.   In False Bay, African Shark Eco Charters offers the unique experience of diving with these intrusive creatures, in a very controlled and relaxed environment. Usually they move around the kelp beds and over sandy channels in groups of up to 10-20, [...]

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The Great White Shark season at African Shark Eco Charters draws to a close

By | September 25th, 2014|Tour Happening's|

End of the season Far too soon it seems my season with African Shark Eco Charters has come to an end. How the months have flown by so fast I have no idea, but what a time its been! I am so lucky to have shared it with a huge number of people from around the world on a daily basis! The guests we’ve had on board have been so much fun, all incredibly varied –different cultures, languages and ages (from 8 to 80!), but almost without exception each and everyone has gone away with a new respect (or a continued one!) for these beautiful animals. For me that is the most important part, trying to change the ‘media view’ that people have - into a much more real and understanding one. I will take such a lot with me from my time in Simon's Town, not least memories of [...]

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End of my Shark Season

By | September 25th, 2014|Tour Happening's|

End of the season Far too soon it seems my season with African Shark Eco Charters has come to an end. How the months have flown by so fast I have no idea, but what a time its been! I am so lucky to have shared it with a huge number of people from around the world on a daily basis! The guests we’ve had on board have been so much fun, all incredibly varied –different cultures, languages and ages (from 8 to 80!), but almost without exception each and everyone has gone away with a new respect (or a continued one!) for these beautiful animals. For me that is the most important part, trying to change the ‘media view’ that people have - into a much more real and understanding one. I will take such a lot with me from my time in Simonstown, not least memories of the [...]

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Heading towards the end of shark season

By | September 18th, 2014|Tour Happening's|

Heading towards the end of shark season Due to a bad weather front passing through False Bay, African Shark Eco Charters was unable to go to sea 3 days running, so our trip on Friday was a complete lottery. As we are heading towards the end of the season the shark behaviour becomes more and more unpredictable, so we had no idea what to expect from our morning.   Thanks to our guests arriving nice and early at the jetty, approaching Seal Island in the dawn allowed us a great start to the day with several great predation activities. I know from speaking to many guests over my 2 seasons that this is a thrilling part of the trip for them. Shouts from our crew, followed by Rob kicking the engines into life, racing over to the spot where the splashes were seen and scanning the water for any sign [...]

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2 Sept was a fantastic day at sea…..

By | September 8th, 2014|Tour Happening's|

For most marine life a red toxic algae bloom is very bad news, but for African Shark Eco Charters it has been fantastic! The sudden algae bloom due to an increase in sunlight (it’s now officially spring in False Bay!) while high concentrations of nutrients exist, takes most of the oxygen out of the water, and means fish and crustaceans cannot survive in this harsh environment. The ones that can, will move away, but as we drove around the island on Monday the presence of many floating crustaceans proved that this is not possible for all life. Red tides are usually made up of dinoflagellates which produce a neurotoxin which is detrimental to many organisms. However on a positive note, the great white sharks have been using the algae bloom to their advantage! With the now very low visibility in the water, hunting at Seal Island has dramatically increased in [...]

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