The Ripple Effect supports Great White Shark Research

November 15, 2011 by dyertrust

The Ripple Effect runs on a simple idea that you can make a difference by doing what you love. Started by Simon Borchert and Toni Enderli, they lead a group of passionate swimmers by arranging various events. On the 22nd October, they hosted the only organised 10km swim in South Africa – the Shelley Point Deep Blue Invitational.

This event provided the opportunity for the Dyer Island Conservation Trust and eco-tourism partner Marine Dynamics to share their research on the Great White Shark. Marine biologist Oliver Jewell was able to share with the swimmers the way in which the way in which shark cage diving done by Marine Dynamics can help keep this species protected and change perceptions. Oliver shared the work done of identifying individual sharks through fin IDs. This helps build a population estimatecrucial when it is believed that only 3500-5000 great white sharks are left. Oliver was also able to share information on their incredible wound healing abilities as well as the exciting acoustic tagging and tracking programme. The sharks show seasonal patterns of behaviour – feeding on the Cape fur seal in winter then moving inshore to the shallows during summer when more interactions with people can occur. The reasons for this behaviour are not entirely clear and the research is aimed at understanding this behaviour taking into account the influence of environmental parameters such as water temperature, oxygen and salinity.

The Ripple Effect has three focus areaswater safety, water purity and water conservation. Through well managed events, all profits are fed into The Ripple Effect Trust for distribution to one of their chosen causes which now includes the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. In an effort to address the 3500 drownings that occur in South Africa every year, the Ripple Effect Waves of Change Programme mentors and trains people from disadvantaged communities to become swimming coaches and in turn teach the children from their communities to swim. This includes teaching important life skills.

The Trust is excited to be associated with The Ripple Effects efforts and appreciates the opportunity to share knowledge about the great white shark.