Welcome to Gansbaai, situated in the Western Cape province of South Africa. This quaint coastal town has a rich historical heritage but is perhaps best known for the diverse marine life, located only 15 minutes from the shore.
Here you will find an almost perfect ecological balance. A 60,000-strong colony of Cape Fur seals on Dyer’s Island and hundreds of African penguins. As a natural predator to these creatures, the Great White Sharks congregate between the two colonies through a channel, while they peruse the menu.
In past years, local skippers could spot an average of eleven great whites feeding on any given day but in recent years, this number has declined.
Why is this happening?
Biologists and scientists have attributed the decline to overfishing in the area and the catchment of the smaller sharks that the Great Whites also feed on. The local fisherman are equally concerned as these are the only sharks they can catch with hand-lines. They are coveted exports, often sent to places like Australia as produce and, on the natural front, an important part of the aquatic ecosystem in the area.
So, what does this mean for shark cage diving in Gansbaai?
The shark cage diving industry is still thriving in Gansbaai, and an integral part of the area’s development, as well as marine conservation in the Western Cape. It continues to educate both locals and those from abroad about much of our most precious sealife. And, thankfully, local tour operators seem committed to following ethical practices in order to do so, chumming the waters but not feeding the sharks.
However, what this does mean is that shark cage diving is, in many ways, more important than ever. It creates a demand and a vested interest in protecting the shark, seal and penguin populations in the area.
For those who have put off their dreams of encountering these majestic creatures face-to-face, your opportunities are beginning to dwindle. The sad truth is that without significant marine conservation and rigorous fishing regulations, the shark population in the area will decline and the next generation may not be privileged enough to enjoy the experiences that we can still have.
Now is the moment
Through Shark Bookings, you can still have the chance to encounter the beloved Great White, to meet the Cape Fur seals or watch the proud African penguins claim their island. You can be part of raising awareness about the importance of balance in the marine ecosystem, while simultaneously having the experience of a lifetime. Contact us for more information or to book your encounter.