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Shark Bytes

September 2007 Shark Bytes

written by Monique Fallows

Posted on Sunday, 30 September 2007

Dear Shark Lovers!

 

As we edge towards the end of September the sharks are becoming quieter at Seal Island, signaling the start of the low season.

 

During the month we have had a mixture of good days and slow days. One thing for sure is that the sharks completely lost interest in coming up to the boat so on albeit 2 days we were not able to dive purely do to lack of sharks. Of the very few sharks that decided to visit the boat “Bumps” was one! This means that we recorded her at Seal Island every month of the high season April to September. We also had a small 2,2 meter male who we saw in August. Chris reckons that he has grown in the space of a month!

 

The predatory hunting events have been active and most of the sightings this month have been during these events. In fact this September has been busier than September 2006.

 

The Southern Right Whales sightings have also continued to be excellent and seeing these animals on the ride home is always an added bonus. We have also encountered a high number of Brydes whales in the bay. These whales are notoriously shy but on one particular trip we had a number of them very close to the boat which was a great privilege.

 

Looking back on the past season it was both successful and also held a few disappointments. We had one of our best intermediate seasons seeing good sharks in both March and April. May was also busier than usual and not only did we see high numbers of sharks around the boat but we also had good breaches on the decoy. June, usually one of best months, was very disappointing. We experienced torrid weather and this seemed to have a negative impact on the sharks. There was very little hunting behavior and very few sharks came up to the boat. So, a lot of the time was spent waiting for sharks in cold, wet and windy conditions! (It is not always roses out there!). July really saw the activity begin to pick up and this carried through the whole month of August. Even sightings in September have continued later that normal.

 

A very worrying factor for us is that we did not see many of our most famous and well known sharks from previous years. The sharks that we did not see are of a variety of sizes so there is no logical explanation for not seeing them. At the end of each season it is always sad for Chris & I to say goodbye to the sharks and we can only wish them safely on their travels.

 

 

We did also have the pleasure of some lovely guests this past season. Many had been out with us before and it was great to share the sharks with them again. We also hosted new shark lovers! It is amazing to see the reaction to someone seeing a great white shark for the first time, and the sharks never fail to touch people in a special way. I hope that we will see more of you on the boat next year!

 

As the season draws to a close Chris & I will also be taking a break. We have a month planned camping in Botswana and we are greatly looking forward to a well deserved rest! The nest newsletter will only be out in November. We will be conducting a shark survey in a protected marine reserve in Northern Mozambique so I look forward to sharing the trip with you on our return.

 

Lastly, I forgot to mention in my last newsletter that the infamous proposed shark fishing tournament in Natal was postponed due to pressure received so a very big thank you to all of you who signed the petition. Should the tournament go ahead they will be doing it on a tag and release basis which is a step in the right direction.

 

Until November..

 

Best wishes

Monique Fallows

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