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    Shark Research in Cape Town

    • 15 November 2010
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    Sharks, namely great white sharks, are an integral part of life in the ocean. As the apex predator they have a huge fan base as well as a large portion of the population that despise them. Great whites have made it onto the endangered species list and protection of these creatures is now widely accepted.

    As a regular user of the ocean I have an interest in finding and photographing anything that moves in the ocean, and all life below the surface holds a measure of intrigue for me. Watching how these creatures big and small behave and interact in the ocean has a special place in my every day. From the smallest pipefish to a massive humpback whale, any sighting whilst on a dive is an amazing experience. As a regular ocean user, I also have a vested interest in shark movements.

    No matter what you find in the ocean, a Google search will bring up heaps of information, photos and stories from any number of people, all willing to share the knowledge and information they have on the creatures they have experienced. Google ”research on pipefish” and there are thousands of articles, a massive amount of information and any number of publications.

    Do such a search on great white sharks and the picture is very different. Sure, there is information out there and all of it interesting to read, but my concern is add “Cape Town” to your search and you come up almost empty handed.

    There is a host of companies that make a living of these creatures by taking people to see them, dive with them and photograph them. All of these operators offer an amazing experience and for a fee share all of their knowledge and experience with you and ensure you have an experience of a lifetime. These operators are running a business, funded by their own efforts and dedication to doing what they love. With this I have no issue and in fact the vast majority of knowledge and available information on great white sharks around Cape Town comes from these people.

    Cape Town has a host of research projects, funded by other people’s money, donations, and sponsors and yet much of the information gathered by these people is either not widely publicised or I just can’t find it. There is no end to the lists of ”projects” and pages of ”we plan to…” items on any number of websites but hardly a word of what they have done when or why.

    We know great whites come closer to shore in summer, but do we know why? We know they have tracked great whites in the False Bay area for hours and hours and on a surf site there was a post regarding a great white tracked in False Bay for 24 hours, but so little real information.

    So, where does one find the information? Any ideas?

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