NSRI issues Cape shark warning

2011-08-29 22:24

Cape Town - The NSRI issued a shark warning on Monday after increased Great White activity in-shore along the False Bay coastline.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said shark researchers are again noticing an annual trend, at this time of the year, where Great Whites' activity shifts away from Seal Island and progresses in-shore along the coastline in search of natural food - summer fish, sharks and rays.

The major increase in shark activity appears to be between Macassar and Strandfontein, but sharks have also been noticed at Fish Hoek, he said.

Swimmers, surfers and paddlers have been warned to be on the alert, Lambinon added.

He said surfers at the popular surfing spots of Nine Miles and Cemetery, and swimmers between Strandfontein and Macassar are most at risk this time of year as the area has the highest density of Great Whites.

However, the advisory of caution stretches along the entire False Bay shoreline.

Researchers are also advising caution around Southern Right Whales, where increased shark activity is recorded, possibly indicating White Sharks hunting whale calves or still born calves.

Swimmers along the popular bathing and surfing beaches between Muizenberg and Fish Hoek should adhere to the shark spotter sirens and leave the water.

  • deminimus - 2011-08-29 23:22

    It is what you get when you allow idiots to dive and feed sharks.

      Ginseng - 2011-08-30 01:21

      If (and a big if) shark cage diving had any affect on sharks it would be to associate food with boats and hence follow boats around, not travel to the shoreline. Think before you type that drivel.

      ChrisG - 2011-08-30 07:51

      Wow, who would have known that cage diving (which happens all year round) causes sharks to come closer to the shoreline in Spring? Thanks for sovling this phenomenon for us.

      thumper - 2011-08-30 08:34

      You're a tosser! Comments like yours are what you get when you allow uneducated imbeciles to speak about things they have no knowledge of. If you want to avoid sharks, stay out of the water. PS! Shark diving, if done correctly has done more for conservation than your tiny brain can imagine!

      pierrembadenhorst - 2011-08-30 08:48

      all i know is that since cage diving started we are seeing way more great whites near and around surf spots ,,,, ban shark cage diving - sharks associated humans with food and even if 1 in 100 4meter sharks come in and get it wrong while im sitting behind the break on my surfboard is 1 too many ... trust me

      thumper - 2011-08-30 08:55

      @ Pierre. Sharks are predators and we are in their territory. We've got to respect that. You don't find skateboarders skating in Lion territory in the Kruger Park do you? We are not their natural prey and sometimes they get it wrong. Unfortunately the only way they can check something out is with their teeth.

      pierrembadenhorst - 2011-08-30 09:19

      sharks are highly intelligent creatures, they learn and make simple associations - human activity = chum = possible food. Next day you are in the water surfing and and a 4m sharks circles waiting for the chum and tuna tails to come...and maybe just maybe you get the grumpy shark that one day ... id rather have cape town without cage diving thank you very much - there are other ways to educate people about our incredible sharks we dont have to feed them

      Lonewolfman - 2011-08-30 09:20

      Dude Really!!! Wake up the world is passing you buy.

      pierrembadenhorst - 2011-08-30 09:27

      fact of the matter is NO ONE has conclusive evidence - the jury is still out BUT i can only relay my experiences and I hear about more big sharks closer to water users around the cape. This point has been argued to death beween the operators who profit from the tourists who pay R1k plus to do the tours and the water users who lose friends or get the the scare of a life time when they see a huge submarine cruz past. It makes sense that the people with the vested interest would argue pro shark chumming and tour dives. I honestly do think that the cage dives do educate people but lets be honest - a tourist comes in, does a trip in gans bay goes home and what impact does he have on the life of the the great whites we deal with every day in cape town ? ZERO - yet the operators make money, and the rest of the water users sit with sharks that get giddy when people are near - whether its attacks or not, I find it highly unpleasant to know or get out of the water when there is a MASSIVE great white around - all kinds of sleepless nights - thats my whole point why should a few make money, everyone suffer and the sharks be no better off?

      DW - 2011-08-30 10:06

      pierre, whilst I do agree that chummed cage diving is probably not the best idea ito possible association, I think that the shark attacks are due to other factors. For many years after Jaws, sharks were seen as enemy no 1 and were slaughtered in their millions. It was seen as a macho thing to do (and sometimes still is by certain fishermen). They started dying out and then the Great White was declared a protected species. Sexual maturity in Great Whites is achieved very late (12-14 years) and the gestation period is believed to be longer than a year. They give birth to 1 or 2 pups at a time. It has taken many years to get the shark population around Cape Town back up from critical levels and, where previously they didnt get past 3-4 meters before being slaughtered, they now achieve 6m+ as they can now grow to adulthood. There are simply more and bigger sharks around now. You will therefore statistically automatically get more shark attacks. It is the risk you take if you go into their territory.

      Kpt_Keyboard - 2011-08-30 10:15

      I just wana say, this makes me happy.... Good signs for fishing, looks like the cob are early!!!

      Kpt_Keyboard - 2011-08-30 10:23

      Maybe i can solve the argueing thats going on... "again noticing an annual trend, at this time of the year, where Great Whites' activity shifts away from Seal Island and progresses in-shore along the coastline in search of natural food - summer fish, sharks and rays" He did not ever mention chumming....

      pierrembadenhorst - 2011-08-30 10:37

      sure - its natural to see a shark a day almost in false bay (follow shark spotter stats on their website) - its great that there are more mature sharks - they are amazing creatures, im sure we can all agree. I just dont like the pavlov like association the animals "seem to be" making. Human being+small water craf+surfer = investigate because possible food source. Regardless whether its summer or winter. But lets be honest - sharks are protected thus more sharks - human population is exploding thus more people on ave in the water so there should be a statistical increase in encounters. I just dont think we should justify the cage diving - few make money, when there is a possibility of many "suffering" from encounters. Im more interested in the solution than a debate in circles. What would you recommend?

  • Tommy - 2011-08-30 00:43

    ok this is the point where i would seriously consider land based activities for a while!!.

  • grant9 - 2011-08-30 02:10

    I'm not so sure. I've been told that at Durban there are more sharks on the beach than in the water.

  • Johan Kruger - 2011-08-30 07:18

    I have an agreement with them, I do not swim in their dam, and they do not drink in my bar.

  • deminimus - 2011-08-30 08:07

    Facts are that there were hardly any shark attacks in the Cape area before cage diving started.

      Megan - 2011-08-30 08:55

      There are no substantial facts on which to base that observation. If anything, cage diving (and I actually don't agree with chumming) has made us more aware of the sharks in our waters.

      Rachel - 2011-09-02 11:24

      Where are you getting your facts from and are you looking at the increase in the number of people using the water? Try correlating that with shark attacks.

      Nick Woodward - 2013-07-11 15:03

      Yup agree with you. Been surfing the western cape for 20 years on and off. And we never used to think about them. Yesterday was down the Dunes alone and I just could not settle. Always at the back of ones mind.

  • Megan - 2011-08-30 08:38

    Okay, so IF tomorrow's headlines scream "Cape Town man/woman eaten by shark", I don't want to read any comments about how sorry we feel for the poor victim, or "death to all sharks" blah blah blah. One thing that we have become quite good at in the Cape is issuing Shark Warnings, so people: You have been warned. If you choose to go swimming/surfing over the next few days you do so knowing full well that there is a very high chance of a shark attack, don't expect any sympathy when it happens. Got it?

      jay - 2011-08-30 09:21

      disappointing comment clearly have no personal connection to the ocean (whether through surfing, swimming, fishing, paddling etc) and have no compassion for other people...disappointing

  • mollma - 2011-08-30 09:16

    Shark cage diving is quite an expensive outing and only a few can make some money out of it - just follow the money trail and you will find the truth.This investment is actually worth to protect for some.

  • Natasha - 2011-08-30 10:02

    At least they make the public aware of this and its for everyone's protection. Great White's are magnificent, I had the opportunity to see them up close. However it is sad knowing that we are entering their territory for our own joy. At first they seem calm and then in a matter of minutes they become more aggressive. I got to see it once and will never go cage diving again, will rather leave them in peace and read about them.

      Rachel - 2011-09-02 11:22

      When I went cage diving in False Bay a few weeks ago the sharks chose to stay around the boat. They are naturally curious animals. I think it depends who you go with. African Shark Eco Charters don't encourage the sharks to be aggressive, but rather allow you to experience their natural awe.

  • SharkyShark - 2011-08-30 10:44

    To those uneducated writers below. Ignorance is not bliss, it gives sharks a bad rap and shark diving operations who do a heck of a lot for shark conservation and research, which you clearly don't know about. Every year around spring time, the sharks move inshore from Seal Island. This is part of their migratory behaviour. Different fish come into the bay, which brings in other fish, other sharks and rays etc, which make up part of the gws diet. In summer there is also an increase of people in the water which may lead to potential fatalities who are now in the sharks " territory". It is not humans territory. We have been working with gws for over 15 yrs and shark fatalities are NOT on the increase. Yes, they have occurred very closely together, but each year there are around 6-10 fatalities. Please educate yourself.

      Natasha - 2011-08-30 12:25

      I fully agree on what you say. Out of experience I just feel cage diving should be left for conservation and research only and for the people that work in that field, not for the public for their own joy.

  • SharkyShark - 2011-08-30 10:50

    To pierrembadenhorst Please read my comment to you and other misinformed below. You need to educate yourself and stop being so emotional. Get the facts. stop look and learn. Shark are migratory animals.

      mikedek - 2011-08-30 20:06

      See nothing emotional about Pierre's comments. He is just conveying the facts and reality of the present situation.Stop the shark diving. IT IS NOT NATURAL AND NOT PART OF NATURE.

  • SharkyShark - 2011-08-30 10:52

    @ deminimus Please read my comment to you and other misinformed below. You need to educate yourself and stop being so emotional. Get the facts. stop look and learn. Shark are migratory animals.

  • Ianofborg - 2011-08-30 12:40

    we as humans have yet to reach the top of the food chain when it comes to the oceans... its nature!!!

  • mikedek - 2011-08-30 20:03

    Tim's life(Plett casualty) was worth more than that made by the cage diving companies. The reality is that the shark population has increased within the Cape waters over the last ten years. due to the shark diving a number of us have in fact "hung up" our boards. The greed of money!!

      Rachel - 2011-09-02 11:16

      Sharks had been hunted to devastatingly low numbers and now are only starting to come back to what they one were before we intervened. As for cage diving - healthy seas mean healthy sharks so the limited number of companies who do operate work to educate people on looking after both the shark and the ocean. There're only two regular operators in False Bay, if you went out with them - Shark Eco-Charters is incredible - I'm sure it would change your mind. Passion for the shark and the ocean drives the work but of course they deserve to get paid also. The experience is life changing and for me, certainly lost me my fear of sharks. They are beautiful graceful creatures, curious and intelligent. Rarely eating food sources they don't recognise.

      Rachel - 2011-09-04 15:56

      P.S. Wuss!!

  • onespirit - 2011-08-31 09:24

    We ARE in their territory, but it's still sad, when a life is ended. I surf and am TERRIFIED of sharks. I don't surf in the Cape. But I would rather be eaten (not bitten and spat out) by a hungry animal than be killed by a human.

  • Kirst Tilanus - 2011-09-01 17:59

  • Rachel - 2011-09-02 11:33

    If you go cage diving you will find that the sharks DO NOT try to eat you as they see that you are not their regular food source. Cage diving also occurs in the sharks environment, not near shore and therefore does not encourage the shark to go to the sure, this is a natural part of their behaviour which was happening way before cage diving came about. Also, sharks around a cage diving boat are not rewarded with food, the bait is there to keep their interest and not to feed them so they are therefore rarely "rewarded" for going to boat, they go there out of natural curiosity. If you go out with a responsible company you will see that the sharks don't even pay all that much attention to the bait, they simply want to investigate what is in their territory which is likely to occur if you are in the water anyway. Also the only way a shark can investigate something is to bite it, they feel with their mouths. This is not always a sign of aggression but can be fatal to a human. I suggest educating yourself. You'll fall in love with the beasts - they are magnificent!

  • Rachel - 2011-09-02 11:39

  • Rachel - 2011-09-02 11:41

    Responsible eco friendly cage diving

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