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Focus on sharks<span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Threats to Cape Town’s sharks​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p> Sharks are far more threatened by humans than we are by them! ​ Weighing up to two tons, and reaching lengths of up to six metres, white sharks are found all along the South African coast (as well as in the world’s oceans) with the highest numbers between False Bay and Algoa Bay, particularly near colonies of Cape Fur Seals. In Cape Town, inshore white shark presence is highest from October to March, when the water is warmer and lots of food, like fish and other sharks, are plentiful.</p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p> In South Africa, there have been 249 confirmed, unprovoked shark bites on humans in the past 111 years.</p></div></div></span> <p>Sharks are vulnerable to exploitation due to their slow growth and low reproductive output. In South Africa, 25% (47 species) are classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as threatened.</p> <span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:844px;" /></figure> <p> <strong>Threats from humans</strong></p> <ul><li>Commercial longline fishing</li><li>Poaching for shark jaws, teeth and fins</li><li>Trawler and ‘purse seine’ fishing (huge nets which catch many different types of sea animals)</li><li>Nets and fish farming (aquaculture) facilities – sharks become entangled and are also persecuted by fish farmers</li><li>Boat traffic</li><li>Damage to their coastal habitats – used for feeding, breeding or socialising</li><li>Pollution</li></ul> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Why protect sharks?​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>When apex predators (top-level predators) like white sharks are affected, entire marine ecosystems are affected. Protecting our sharks, even though people are scared of them, means our ocean ecosystem remains in balance.</p> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p>In 1991, South Africa was the first country to declare white sharks a protected species.</p></div></div> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Working to create safer waters​​​​​​​</h2> <p>At the City we create awareness and try to conserve sharks in our waters. We have partnered with Shark Spotters on a pioneering <span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">shark safety programme </span><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">that provides an early warning system and research on these important creatures. The programme employs shark spotters who are positioned at strategic points on the mountains along the coastline and communicate shark sightings to the public using a flag and siren system. If a shark is spotted close to water users, spotters raise the alarm and people are evacuated temporarily while the shark is in the area.</span></p> <p> <a href="" target="_blank">Visit Shark Spotters<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> to learn more and to see where and when the shark spotters are on duty.</p> <p>The successful <a href="">Fish Hoek shark exclusion net project</a> protects swimmers at this beach during the holiday seasons. Shark safety campaigns raise awareness in an effort to reduce the chances of shark encounters in our waters. </p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p>Make sure you understand the Shark Spotters four-flag warning system and listen out for the warning siren. If you have spotted a shark, especially at a beach that does not have Shark Spotters on duty, and consider this to be an emergency, please contact the City’s 107 Emergency number – 107 from a landline or <em> <a>021 480 7700</a></em> from a cellphone. Non-emergency sightings can be logged on the Shark Spotters website via their online form.</p></div></div></span> <p>We’ve also made the following WWF shark awareness information available to residents and visitors: </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Great White Shark Fact Sheet </a><br><a href="" target="_blank">Shark Based Tourism Fact Sheet</a> <br><a href="" target="_blank">Shark Tips Fact Sheet</a></p> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Shark safety tips​​​​​​​</h2> </span> <ul><li>If you plan to swim, use beaches where Shark Spotters are on duty.</li><li>Take the time to speak to the Shark Spotters on the day you visit the beach.</li><li>Pay attention to any shark signage on beaches.</li><li>Make sure you understand and obey the four-flag warning system and listen out for the warning siren.</li><li>Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby.</li><li>Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where trek-netting, fishing or spear fishing is taking place.</li><li>Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers.</li><li>Do not swim if you are bleeding.</li><li>Do not swim near river mouths.</li><li>Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night.</li><li>Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranded nearby.</li><li>Obey beach officials, lifeguards and Shark Spotters if you are told to leave the water</li><li>Be aware that the rate of encounters with white sharks rises significantly when the water temperature is warmer (18ºc or higher), and during new moon. This is due to increased opportunities for feeding.</li><li>If a shark has recently been sighted in an area where no Shark Spotters are present, consider using another beach for the day.</li><li>First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguards or locals about the area.</li><li>For those kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea: please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation).</li><li>Consider using a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking.</li></ul> <p>Download our <a href="" target="_blank">Shark Smart infographic</a> for more information on the four-flag warning system.</p></span>GP0|#ceb9ad30-c62d-4fb1-a3fb-e7e362cb9960;L0|#0ceb9ad30-c62d-4fb1-a3fb-e7e362cb9960|Focus on sharks;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#18da33b4-b150-4fb2-9409-e82d667ad4dd;GPP|#553ce1f7-0fea-434b-bbc1-744edbd62039;GPP|#c529c1ac-1f8d-48ae-8079-d34f4dae9c57;GP0|#58085941-1764-4361-b12f-eeb02cc0c216;L0|#058085941-1764-4361-b12f-eeb02cc0c216|Focus on sharks;GPP|#accad947-4ac6-4079-b2d7-f98553346e42;GPP|#184712e4-2ee9-4f2d-9e3a-71f917b536fa;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752;GP0|#530a612d-8ac6-4433-82fe-76b548bc79d7;L0|#0530a612d-8ac6-4433-82fe-76b548bc79d7|Focus on sharks;GPP|#0a4bd5be-45ba-4f29-9467-09eaac3d8884;GPP|#bdeab521-3d99-4e61-8a9d-b298f4037b2a;GP0|#f49cb83e-4d1a-44fa-8a49-0c685118a6ef;L0|#0f49cb83e-4d1a-44fa-8a49-0c685118a6ef|Focus on sharks;GPP|#6845b9bb-09a3-4506-b672-ee3438642214Learn about Cape Town’s sharks, their importance and how to stay safe in our waters.



Be Shark Smart Poster332466GP0|#591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6;L0|#0591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6|Poster;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2010-07-31T22:00:00Z
Shark Fact Sheet 01: Great White Shark34810GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2010-07-31T22:00:00Z
Shark Fact Sheet 03: Shark Based Tourism37697GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2010-07-31T22:00:00Z
Shark Fact Sheet 04: Shark Tips45176GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2010-07-31T22:00:00Z
Shark Signage Warning System Infographic463904GP0|#f10f836d-5770-43e9-a733-7b3eee03d477;L0|#0f10f836d-5770-43e9-a733-7b3eee03d477|Infographic;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2010-07-31T22:00:00Z



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