Great White Sharks Tagged in Gansbaai

March 15, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

“We are thrilled to have acoustic tagged two Great White Sharks from our research boat today!”, said shark biologist Alison Towner. It’s been over two years since a transmitter (tag) has been deployed on a white shark in Southern African waters largely due to their unpredictable distribution patterns, and a notable decline in white sharks visiting two Western Cape aggregation sites.


The two sharks tagged are large females measuring 3.8m and 4.2m in length. During the past week, both sharks were observed in the Kleinbaai (Gansbaai) area from Marine Dynamics shark cage diving boat, Slashfin. The larger female has a distinctive tail and is known as 'Club tail'. All white sharks are logged on the Trust’s database and Club tail is a visitor from previous years. The other shark was named 'Clover' by our Marine Dynamics Academy interns from Galway University in Ireland. “Clover shows a very inquisitive and relaxed behavior. She slowly circled our research vessel, Lwazi, eye balling our crew after the tag was placed next to her fin today!”


Tagging data is important in understanding the movement ecology and migrations of white sharks, especially at this critical time in relation to increasing marine threats and pressures. These tags will be detected on underwater acoustic receivers which span the entire coast of SA and will hopefully give us a much anticipated insight as to where these white sharks spend their time along the coast and when they decide to move. 


The team first starting tagging white sharks in 2010 and have produced numerous scientific papers. See Research Achievements