White shark population in South Africa more vulnerable than previously thought
Sources- Eye Witness News and The Business Standard
A six year University of Stellenbosch study has found that the white shark population in South Africa continues to decline despite conservation efforts.
The story which was published by ewn.co.za last month says, “The latest study on great white sharks in South Africa has revealed about two-thirds of the population has been wiped out. Humans are the main culprits, thanks to shark nets, baited hooks, poaching and pollution. Of the remaining sharks, there is a drastically declining genetic variation among the population.”
The study, which is the first of its kind, is headed by Dr Sara Adreaotti who reveals that the species is facing extinction at a greater rapidity that previously thought and it may already be too late to do anything to safeguard their survival.
Published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series places blame on illegal human activity such as ocean pollution and netting aimed at capturing sharks off the coasts of South Africa. Although the great white’s population has dropped in South Africa, the study said the sharks were still found in large numbers off the coasts of North America, and Australia.
This puts into question the value of local conservation efforts of the last 20 years and what government will do with this new information.
South African government has been strict in their regulation of the white shark cage diving industry and is mandated to change the rules of ‘engagement’ for companies to ensure the biological and ecological sustainability of the of great white sharks. How do you think the industry will change?