A Living Legacy: The Great White Shark in South Africa
Unarguably the most beautiful city I’ve had the pleasure of exploring. The world seems to agree, given its poll position in various travel publications as one of the top holiday travel destinations in the world!
Cape Town is a multi-cultural, multi-national melting-pot of diverse ideas, activities and opinions. With so much on offer; from the majestic mountain tops to the electric city buzz below. Wherever you may spread your wings in the Cape of Good Hope, you cannot help but to take a moment to reflect and meditate in the mesmerizing rays of the orange deep sunset, feeling the warm berg winds brush off your shoulders while the cool Atlantic breeze awaken the once jaded senses and soul.
It’s the valuable oceans of the Atlantic that many have come to rely upon. The Atlantic Ocean is the backbone to a vast population that occupy this awe-inspiring city. The abundance of fish supports the local fishing communities, whilst the persistent South-Easter attracts surfers and sporting activity from all four corners of the globe.
Down below, it’s no different.
The icy Atlantic breathes life to an entire eco-system dependent on the responsibility of the actions of those above, for the health of its habitat and survival of the valued array of species it holds down below.
BUT the GREATEST attraction of all, the superstar of the Cape Waters… you guessed it. None other than the mystical Great White Shark also known as the Carcharodon Carcharlas.
For millions of years the Great White Sharks have entrusted the waters of the Western and Eastern Cape as its home and heritage. The majority of the Great Whites have not migrated since, all within reason… South Africa was the first country to relay protection and spearhead the conservation of the Great White Shark Species as early as 1991; by lawfully declaring the waters that surround it a protected environment and by regulating the activity that affects the survival and sustainability of these 16 million year old Apex Predators.
It’s a no brainer really, these transcendent creatures of the sea appear safe in our waters, and with the onslaught of Australia’s new culling by-laws, it’s not a wonder why they still around and here to stay.
With a rich profusion of sea-dwelling delicacies, these apex hunters have never gone hungry, unlike its 3rd world successors above. The Cape Fur Seal has been the choice treat of the Great White Shark for millennia, and there’s a wealth available for all shapes and sizes to feast upon. Geyser Rock Seal Colony, close to Gansbaai in the Western Cape, has been the focal feeding point for a majority of the Great White Shark population for as long as records can reveal.
During the early summer season migration patterns indicate an increase in the presence of Great White Sharks, predominantly female around Geyser Rock… all wanting to get a piece of the action, to feed, flourish and give rise to a new generation of Apex Predators.
In 1992 this rampant activity in and around False Bay gave birth to a new industry, economy and philosophy in South Africa. What’s known as today Shark Cage Diving, has supported, given hope and life to previously disadvantaged communities all along the Cape Coast and further afield. A Living Legacy: The Great White Shark in South Africa.