South Africa's great white sharks may face extinction - new research

Dr Sara Andreotti of Stellenbosch University Department of Botany and Zoology, presents results of a 6 year research project, which shows the SA great white shark is in danger of possible extinction.

It seems there are less individual great white sharks in South African waters than was estimate and she says it is a very disturbing result.

Using a research catamaran as a base, the team collected genetic samples and photo identification of the great white shark population around the South African coastline.

We have been at sea for five years. We collected 5000 photographs and 302 genetic samples.

Dr Sara Andreotti, Stellenbosch University Department of Botany and Zoology

These two techniques enabled them, with 95% certainty, to estimate the current South African population of great whites, which she says is between 300 to 500. They estimate this has halved in twenty years.

The current population is also less genetically diverse, which weakens the species.

We need a minimum amount of breeders of 500...and we don't have 350.

Dr Sara Andreotti, Stellenbosch University Department of Botany and Zoology

Listen to the full conversation below:


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