Meet Albert, the Great White Shark who loves spending his summers in Gansbaai
Ocearch’s tracking technology allows researchers to monitor sharks movements throughout the world’s oceans, providing valuable insight into their behavior and their range.
Each shark is tagged with a tracking device that is inserted through their dorsal fin, and whenever they break the surface of the water, a signal is transmitted to a satellite. The satellite then sends back an estimated location of the shark.
Each of these ‘pings’ give researchers an accurate, real time location of a particular shark, allowing them to collect data about each individual.
During the tagging process, tests are done on the shark which determines their species, age, sex, weight, length and stage of life. From the data collected a profile is then setup for the shark on Ocearch’s official tracking website.
Researchers are then able glean the extent of the shark’s territory, the distance they have covered since their tagging and monitor their behavior.
This also allows members of the public to observe each shark’s movements and possibly dive in the area it occupies, all the while knowing a bit of the animal’s history.
Expectedly, each shark displays their own particular habits, which coastlines they prefer and the depth at which the like to swim. It’s interesting to follow a particular individual and see what they get up to, how much distance they cover in comparison to other sharks and whether they prefer shallow or deep waters.
Photo credit: www.ocearch.org.
Species: Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Weight: 220 kg
Length: 2.9 metres
Stage of Life: Immature
Total distance covered: 6593.42 km
Tag Location: Gansbaai
Albert is a South African local in every sense of the word. Tagged in his home town of Gansbaai in 2012, he rarely ventures beyond the cool coastal waters of the Cape
Still a relative youngster, Albert is content to stick to what he knows and pays little mind to the constant murmurs of migration amongst the other sharks (A very popular conversation starter in great white communities.)
Only on occasion will he travel further than Port Elizabeth and he seems to consider Port Alfred the limit of his range, having been their only once, on his first and only winter holiday in August 2012.
And why would he? All his mates live in the bays between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and he doesn’t have to go far to find food due to the seemingly endless supply in the shark havens of Mossel Bay, Plettenburg Bay and Cape St. Francis. He specifically enjoys the waters in False Bay, another shark cage diving hotspot.
His reluctance to travel may have a lot to do with his fondness for colder waters. He finds the warmer waters affects his already fast metabolism (maybe that is why he is so underweight at 220 kg) and so prefers his home comforts in the cooler Atlantic.
The good news is that while Albert may miss out on a whole world of water out there because of his reluctance to explore, any one enjoying a shark cage diving experience in Cape Town have a good chance spotting him in Gansbaai when they book their next great white shark tour with Shark Bookings.
Credit: All data found on www.ocearch.org.