The Great White Shark
Fascinating and feared, enormous and powerful, the Great White Shark is one of the most mysterious animals in the world. This beautiful animal is one of the most misunderstood creatures of the sea, and one which now nears extinction due to trophy fishing and the hype which surrounded it after the film “Jaws” was released.
Great White Sharks are not protected in many countries and fishing them has been banned by many international water authorities; their population is steadily growing. South Africa was the first to protect these sharks and is now the leader in their conservation with more than one hundred people travelling to the shark cage diving hotspots of Gansbaai and Cape Town to see them.
Optimal shark cage diving conditions take place between April and September. This is when the coast is warm, despite it being winter. In Gansbaai, the sharks surround Dyer Island and Geyser Rock in search of seals which are rich in protein. Sharks are also more relaxed with boats during this period and don’t seem to be too bothered with the presence of any shark cage diving crews.
The Great White Shark is also known as the White Shark, White Pointer or White Death and can grow to a maximum size of +/- 6m/ 20 ft. They pose a relatively high risk to humans. Many divers and shark watchers imagine these animals as the monster shark from the film “Jaws” but leave their diving holidays or shark cage diving tour with a new love and respect for them. Consider these sharks to be “dolphin with teeth”. Most likely victims are spear fishermen and surfers.
Where to see them
Great white sharks prefer cold to mild temperatures. Their greatest numbers can be found in South Africa, Australia, California and Mexico.