Sunday, August 31, 2008

Season of the Great White shark

Thefirst Great White sharks of the season have been spotted near the shoreline in False Bay and recreational sea-users are being urged to keep a watchful eye on the shark spotters who work along that coastline.The City of Cape Town said Great White sharks were present in the coastal waters all year round and people should be aware of the small possibility of encountering them at any time and should always remain vigilant when using the ocean.

"Over the past five years, the period of mid-August to the end of November has recorded the highest numbers of interactions between Great White sharks and recreational users," the city said in a statement.

"Based on scientific data, the city would like to ask people using the coast for recreation to be extra vigilant particularly over the next few months when the highest occurrence of inshore Great White shark activity is expected. "Kayakers and surfskiiers are specifically asked to be cautious of the area between Sunnycove and Glencairn Beach while surfers and swimmers are asked to be especially vigilant in the areas between Sunrise Beach and Strandfontein and in the Macassar Beach area," the council said.

People are being encouraged to use areas where shark spotters are on duty and to take the time to speak to the shark spotters on the day they visit the beach to find out about recent sightings and activity, as well as the current conditions which determine the efficacy of shark spotting.

Currently shark-spotting programmes are operational at St James Beach, Muizenberg Corner, Fish Hoek and Noordhoek seven days a week, from 8am to 6pm. From the beginning of October, the afternoon shift will be extended till 7pm.

This article was originally published on page 5 of
Cape Times on August 21, 2008


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