City keeping a watchful eye on increase in close in-shore shark activity
Shark spotters of the City's Shark Spotting Programme have registered a significant increase in great white sharks recently, particularly along the False Bay coastline between Sunrise Beach and Fish Hoek.
"The appearance of white sharks is normal during peak summer months in Cape Town near in-shore areas, as these sharks are known to hunt and feed along this stretch of coastline at this time of year. However, the sharks have not been seen to come close to the beaches (in-shore areas) or near swimmers," says Wilfred Solomons -Johannes, Manager: Systems Integration & Special Projects, Disaster Risk Management Centre.
Whilst no incidents have occurred thus far this season, the shark spotters will keep watch for sharks and will alert bathers and surfers to calmly leave the water if needed.
Bathers and swimmers along the False Bay coastline are urged to be cautious and to pay attention to the following public advisory:
- Bathers and surfers must at all times adhere to the safety warnings of the shark spotters.
- When the shark spotters sound their siren alarms to warn of shark sightings near to bathing and surfing areas, bathers and surfers must leave the water immediately until the danger passes.
- Bathers and surfers must always exercise extreme caution to avoid increasing the risk of a shark encounter.
The Shark Spotting Programme is a mitigation measure to reduce the number of shark attacks and encounters at popular Cape Town beaches.
This project is made possible through funding by the City of Cape Town's Environmental Resource Management Department (R750 000 over the past two years) and the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF), as well as through the formalisation of shark spotting as an effective safety project.
For information on recent shark movements in False Bay , visit the Shark Spotters website at www.sharkspotters.org.za
Statement issued by the Communication Department, City of Cape Town, January 12 2010
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