An Unusual View of Predation at Seal Island
Posted on Thursday, 12 July 2012
Seal Island, False Bay is home to the most intense Natural Predatory behaviour between Great White Sharks and Cape fur seals. Since 1996 Chris & our team have collected various data points from each predatory event. These events now number close to 7,500 and the overall success rate for the shark is just under 50%, extremely high compared to other predators.
We have to be very sensitive when working around these events so that we impact as little as possible on each event. This means we have to be very aware of seal movement so that we do not block their path or cause them to try use our boat as protection. It takes a lot of caution and vigilance to make sure all of this happens. Unfortunately on rare occasions we do get things wrong.
Yesterday morning at Seal Island we did not see an approaching group of seals while we were towing our fake-seal decoy and the seals headed straight for the safety of our boat. Once we realised what had happened we stopped our tow so that we could wait for them to move off.
As they did so, a patrolling Great white shark picked up on them a mere 3 meters from the boat.
I was on the viewing deck at the time so I had a very spectacular view of the whole event looking straight down into the water.