Recent media reports highlighting the absence of great white sharks in False Bay has resulted in much confusion for shark cage diving tourists to South Africa and the tourism industry at large.
- Location: Joubertsdam
- Water Temperature: 16.6°C + 16.7°C + 16.7°C
- Depth: 9.8m + 10.1m + 9.7m
- Visibility: 0.5m + 0.5m + 0.5m
Conditions: Slight, shifting winds with a small swell and clear, bright skies.
Slashfin moved smoothly through the bay early this morning as we launched for our first trip in conditions so much different from yesterday, that is that we could actually see the bay as the mist from 24 hours before had lifted. Once on anchor we settled for a day of watching and for many taking a dip into the cold Atlantantic waters, of course hopefully with sharks present!
The sharks made their presence known quickly with our first of the day appearing, a large female Copper shark sporting some very impressive fresh bite wounds and old, darkened scars. We know that White sharks are a robust and resilient species (see Towner et al publication from 2012 on such here), but many ask if this is true for the Copper sharks as well? It appears that sharks have a remarkable ability to heal from some very extensive external wounds, the Copper sharks do not seem to be exempt from this and many, especially from what we have seen around the boat, the females, do have bite wounds that heal realitively quickly. Today also saw one of the male Coppers around, something not so commonly seen over the last six months of sightings with the females dominating the bay!
Whilst no White sharks were seen today , we were lucky to see other animals throughout the day with a smaller Cape Fur seal cheekily interacting with the sharks, something many would find amusing as it is assumed said seal would be lunch for the shark, however they are safe around the fish specialist that is the Copper shark and have been seen to follow closely behind and try to grab or nibble at the sharks tail. Today also saw some sightings of the shy Humpback dolphins that move through the shallow waters of the bay.