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Shark Bytes

Shark Bytes May 2018

written by Monique Fallows

Seal Island, South Africa

Posted on Thursday, 7 June 2018

This is going to be a rather short and sweet sharky update but as we have positive news I felt I had to share it with you all!

 

Seal Island, False Bay News

Yes, you may have already guessed but we have finally had the first Great white shark sightings of the season at Seal Island just a few days ago. After an anxious wait it was pure joy to see a great white shark up close around the boat and I know the Apex Crew was just as excited, or perhaps more so, than our guests on board.

So far 3 different Great whites have been recorded around the boat along with a total of 6 predatory events also observed. On one of these events the famous but allusive male shark, Colossus was sighted. This shark is well known for appearing in a number of Air Jaws Discovery Shark Week shows and I know that many of you will be thrilled to hear that he is still around. His size is now estimated at between 4 and 4.5 meters (between 13 and 14 feet) so he is starting to become a heavy-weight shark!

We know it is early days yet but we are thrilled to have a few special large sharky friends around.

 

In the lead up to the first Great white shark sighting we were consistently having good seven gill cow shark sightings and everyone was enjoying seeing these sharks around the boat and from the cage. One of the large females present was just under 3 meters long, which is just about as big as they can get. We have also had fantastic water visibility at Seal Island which has been awesome for a great cage diving experience.

 

What is extremely interesting is that apart from the first day of a great white sighting, all the seven gill cow sharks now seem to have completely departed from Seal Island. In the absence of the great whites they filled the gap that was left but now that a shark higher up on the food chain than them has returned it seems they no longer feel comfortable staying in the area.

 

It constantly amazes me how in tune nature is with everything around them, as well as how fine the balance is that exists in the ecosystem.

Gansbaai News

To elaborate on this point interesting things have also been happening in the Gansbaai area.

After an absence of 6 months, the great white sharks returned to Gansbaai roughly 2 months ago and the operators here were having fairly good sightings. But in mid-May the notorious shark-eating Orca, Port and Starboard, were spotted moving behind Dyer Island. No great white shark carcasses were found but the day after these two Orca were spotted all Great white sharks vanished after a hasty departure from the Gansbaai area. We don’t know that any sharks were killed, but it certainly seems that they were aware of the Orcas presence as well as the potentially lethal threat they pose.

The sharks remained missing here for the next 3 weeks and only in the last couple of days have a couple of great whites been seen.

 

It seems that the presence of Great White sharks along the Southern Cape Coastline is extremely fragile at the moment and after such an abnormal period we can only hope that things settle down and return to relative normality soon.

 

I know the news is short but it certainly is sweet! So much better to be able to tell you that the sharks are coming back and not that they are still missing in action.

We will keep you posted at the end of June as to how we are getting on.

 

Until then,

Best wishes

Monique

Tags:

Colossus - Seal Island

Comments

Andrew Currie

Wonderful news! Stay safe, guys :)

Posted on: 28 June 2018

Kristi Haftorson

So excited the sharks are making an appearance. We're coming to visit you mid July - excited to meet you both and the sharks!

Posted on: 3 July 2018

Jo-Anne M McFadyen

Thanks for the update. We're all watching, "Shark Week", here in Canada. They did a episode on the Orca's, Port and Starboard, preying upon the great whites. Keep up the good work and conservation of your great whites.

Posted on: 26 July 2018

Tracy Byrd

I'm so relieved to hear that Colossus has so far not fallen prey to Port and Starboard. While watching Shark Week in America and watching Air jaws: the Hunted, I was soooo hoping he escaped the carnage. He is my favorite Great White. He's so magnificent (btw, I love orcas too, but Port and Starboard scare me. I wonder why/what happened to them, or their pod, that they are on thier own? Was their pod decimated & they alone survived? Did they do something that caused thier pod to exile them? I know these are questions we probably can't answer and probably will never know, but still....)

Posted on: 26 July 2018

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