Shark Awareness Day 2017

July 14, 2017 Brenda du Toit

The main purpose of the annual Shark Awareness Day is exactly that – creating awareness of sharks as a critical part of our oceans.  Sharks are a large group of fish that have inhabited the oceans for over 400 million years. There are over 500 species of sharks in the ocean but here at Marine Dynamics and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, our team deals with one of the most charismatic ones, the great white shark. After four confirmed orca predations on white sharks since May, the sharks had been scarce in Gansbaai but as if knowing there was something special about the 14th July, Marine Dynamics enjoyed a good sighting of a 3m white shark.

While guests were enjoying the sighting, our shark biologist, Alison Towner, was working with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust’s Environmental Education Programme (DEEP). The group in their second year has been able to witness and touch the deceased shark and is learning more about this species throughout the programme. One of the tasks the students are challenged with is to do presentations and on this day eight of them showcased various shark species. Alison was there to encourage them and to share more about sharks.  Some shark cakes rounded off the day as did some champagne for the guests of Marine Dynamics.

1.Nicole Schutte with shark biologist, Alison Towner, showing the DEEP students the equipment used in tagging and tracking white sharks
2. 2nd year DEEP student Aphelele Jordaan