SA: Gansbaai – Shark Diving

Gansbaai is a fishing town and popular tourist destination in the Overberg District Municipality, Western Cape, South Africa. It is known for its dense population of great white sharks (15 / day on average) and as a whale-watching location. A noticeable decline in great white shark sightings was observed from the beginning of 2017. The first half of that year saw multiple extended periods completely void of great white shark sightings in the area, something that was not recorded in the 15 years that the team has been collecting near-daily observational data on this species. There are two prominent theories. One is the recent appearance of a pod of orcas, or killer whales, in Gansbaai and False Bay, which specialises in hunting large, coastal sharks like white sharks. This has scared off the great whites. The other is the decline of white shark food from intensified fishing of small shark species, such as smooth-hound and soupfin sharks. Sightings in 2022 are sporadic.

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