Up close and personal with sharks

2018-01-25 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedThe Shark Cage diving team.

PHOTO: suppliedThe Shark Cage diving team.

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“SHARKS swim with fish and fish is their food, it does happen that people are bitten and a lot of it is mistaken identity.”

This is according to South Coast shark expert and founder of Shark Cage Diving KZN John Miller.

Miller said his mission is to develop a desire to conserve sharks with positive understanding and respect.

Miller recently held a shark awareness programme at Rocky Bay Beach in Park Rynie to educate people about sharks.

The programme ran from December 8, 2017 to last Friday in a bid to answer questions about the oftentimes “dreaded” species.

Millers said through the programme and his organisation in general he wanted to create a culture that appreciated the essence of the species instead of fearing it.

In so doing there would be an increase marine tourism as well as a transformation of the shark populations into a sustainable living resource.

“We want to develop educational ocean experiences for all South Africans and tourists. You can either come and dive in a cage, no experience required, or snorkel with sharks no cage, but you will need experience,” said Miller.

“We are lucky to have a large number of species of sharks on our coast line and through this we can take people out to sea to experience them first hand in their natural environment.

There are more than 600 species of sharks in the world and South Africa has over a 100 species,” said Miller.

In order to stay safe while swimming it is important to listen to the lifeguards as they are trained to know which conditions are suitable for swimming and not to swim in dirty water.

“More people are killed by bee stings, coconuts falling on their heads, than by sharks, but the media will always headline with ‘shark attacks’.

“When people see a shark, they freak out, but their panicked movements have been known to draw the shark even closer. It is equally important to know when a shark is being aggressive or just curious, they live in the ocean and we enter their environment,” said Miller.

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