by Courtney Cooper
The Great White Shark attracted a significant amount of tourism to Cape Town through shark cage diving tours. However, since 2017, the Cape coastline has seen a decline in Great White Shark sightings. So, what are the shark cage diving in Cape Town companies doing without the Great White shark?
In the absence of this great Apex predator, survival of the fittest has taken shape with other shark species adapting to new environments along the coastline. Seal Island in Cape Town, formerly inhabited by Great white sharks in the winter months, saw the Broad nose seven gill shark move in. Apex Shark Expeditions observed these sharks on many of their shark cage diving in Cape Town and even documented the first ever observation of the Broad nose seven gill sharks hunting seals on the surface of the water. The seven-gill shark are prehistoric, and cage diving with these sharks is like cage diving with dinosaurs. However, their sightings were unpredictable, thereby making cage diving with these sharks tricky.
After this, shark cage diving companies moved away from the islands, further inshore, looking for other shark species that preferred the warmer shallower waters. What was found was a 5-star attraction, perfect for shark cage diving. Enter the beautiful, predatory bronze Whaler shark, also known as a copper shark because of their copper and bronze like colour with an off-white under side. Their fins have dark edges and can easily be mistaken for the Black Tip shark. These large predatory sharks are shoaling sharks, which means they arrive in good numbers to the boat, generally very interactive, they come close to the shark cages and are very inquisitive, making for excellent cage diving experiences. The trips these past months and years have been 95% successful and guest feedback on dives with these other species has been nothing short of outstanding.
The shark cage diving in Cape Town has on occasion hosted up to three different species of shark around the boat on one trip, including the broad nose even gill shark, the copper shark, and hammerheads. You will therefore have a good chance to see sharks on any dive you do in Cape Town as well as a whole host of other marine megafauna. Whales, dolphins, and many species of sea birds are often observed on your shark diving in Cape Town experience.
Despite the absence of the Great White Shark, this is a thrilling time to witness other species of sharks. Many of these sharks are endangered and the shark cage diving industry is pushing for legislation to protect them So, book your shark trip in Cape Town to see these breathtaking creatures and help us to save them!
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