South Africa is well known for its population of Great White Sharks. There have been reports of a recent demise in shark sightings off some of the more frequented waters of Cape Town and this has been worrying. However, it is not all bad news and while some areas have seen a drop in shark sightings, some are seeing a slow increase.
Scientists and experts in sharks and the oceans off of Cape Town believe that there has not so much been a drop in sharks but more of a change in migration patterns. When areas such as False Bay and Gansbaai were once teaming with Sharks they now seemed to drop, and more sharks were seen further up the East Coast towards the warmer waters of Mossel Bay. This is a good thing for tourism to Mossel Bay and the Garden Route, but it is not so helpful for tourists who don’t want to travel so far to witness Great Whites up close.
But things are yet again changing, sharks are wild animals after all so it can be expected. In recent weeks during March and April 2019, there have been a growing number of shark sightings in the areas where there were fewer not so long ago. This is good news, maybe not so much for bathers and surfers, but for the shark fans and tourists, this is a positive sign.
Shark research is an ongoing and extensive operation in the waters of the Western Cape and the unpredictability of shark movements is both frustrating and fascinating. The unpredictable shark movements, especially around the shark hotspot of Gansbaai has seen no sharks tagged in over 2 years. It was, therefore, with great excitement that 2 sharks were tagged off Gansbaai during March 2019.
Tagging sharks is a vital part of Shark conservation and shark studies and provides a unique insight into the lives of these feared yet majestic animals. The recent decline in shark sightings has required a lot more guesswork than normal due to the lack of newly tagged sharks. The recent tagging is superb news and is a positive step forward in shark conservation, understanding sharks and the sometimes misunderstood shark tourism industry.
The Great White Shark is a vital part of the Tourism ecosystem and the rise in sightings and fresh tagging is good news all round.
Shark cage diving and shark spotting is a valuable part of the tourism industry and when considered as part of a tour the activities should be undertaken by experienced professionals who show more concern for the sharks than they do their profits.
Experience the Great White shark in its natural environment with our half-day Great White shark diving activity in Mossel Bay, Western Cape! Book here.
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