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Beach goers cautioned of increased white shark activity in False Bay

By Sarah Waries, 6th January 2011

The City of Cape Town and the Shark Spotting Programme would like to inform beach goers of increased white shark activity in the False Bay area and are appealing to all water users to be extra vigilant at this time.

Shark Spotters have today recorded five sightings in total, at Muizenberg, St. James and Fish Hoek. Law Enforcement also reported a sighting at Macassar Beach and another reported sighting was made from Long Beach, Simonstown.

High numbers of people are using Cape Town’s beaches currently due to the good weather. The City is therefore appealing to all water users to be vigilant, familiarise themselves with the recent shark activity in the area before entering the water, obey the shark siren, and to take note of the Shark Spotters’ flags and signage for regular updates on shark sightings.

Since the school holidays at the beginning of December, Shark Spotters have recorded 24 shark sightings at Muizenberg, Clovelly, Fish Hoek, St. James and Noordhoek. This brings the total number of shark sightings to 857 since the Shark Spotters Programme started in 2004. This illustrates the effectiveness of the program as an early warning system.

Furthermore confirmed reports have also come from NSRI and Western Province Life-saving from Clifton, Llandudno, Cape Point, Simonstown, and the area between Strandfontein and Macassar.

The increase in shark activity can be associated with a growth in biological activity often identified by schools of fish, the presence of marine mammals and high marine bird activity. Today birds and dolphins have been observed feeding on a bait ball of fish in the Glencairn area. Furthermore, dolphins and whales were reported in the Fish Hoek area earlier today. These observations point to the availability of prey for sharks, and re-iterates the strong correlation between an increase in shark activity and the abundance of prey.

Beach users are reminded that there are no shark spotting services at Simonstown beaches or beaches along the north shore of False Bay between Sunrise Beach and Gordon’s Bay.

Shark Spotting services are available at Muizenberg, St James-Kalk Bay, Clovelly (until April), Fish Hoek, Glencairn (until April), and Noordhoek.


Issued by: Communication Department, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Sakhile Tsotsobe, Coastal Coordinator, Department of Sport, Recreation and Amenities. Tel: 021 400 4638 or Cell: 072 626 3669

Sarah Titley: Shark Spotting Programme. Cell: 078 174 4244

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