SHARK AWARENESS DAY
July 14, 2019 Dyer Island Conservation Trust
Gansbaai is known world-wide as the White Shark capital of the world. But did you know that this coastline has a large diversity of other sharks as well. Around the world we know of over 500 different shark species, 117 of which can be found around the Southern African coast. Our sharks face many threats, mostly from fishing pressures, especially longliners where many are caught as bycatch.
We have a large number of species belonging to the Requiem and catshark families. Our interns from Marine Dynamics Academy joined hands with the children from Dyer Island Conservation Trust’s Environmental Education Programme (DEEP) in catching and measuring various catshark species from our local shores. The animals were tagged with an ORI (Oceanographic Research Institute) tag, after which they were safely released back into the ocean. These activities are a simple but vitally important method to get an impression of how many individuals of each species are swimming around, where these sharks move to, and how fast they grow over time. While this information will go into our research database, it gave the children from DEEP an unprecedented opportunity to interact with local wildlife they would normal never see, and so influence our younger generation to take more care about the wonderful and diverse marine life around our shores.
Photo credit: George Podaras