Shark Spotters baffled by bizarre decrease in white sharks in False Bay

There's been a dramatic decrease in white shark spotting in False Bay, both in the summer months inshore, and over winter at Seal Island.

Shark Spotters recorded an all-time low number of white shark sightings across the eight beaches they operate on in Cape Town during the 2017/18 summer season.

There has, however, been a surprising increase in the number of bronze whaler sharks frequenting the inshore zone over this period.

Tamlyn Engelbrecht, research manager at Shark Spotters, says they have not yet been able to determine the driving factors behind the drop in numbers.

Engelbrecht says there has been a notable shift away from the False Bay area towards the southeastern region and along the east coast.

The marine researcher says more data is needed to understand the changing trends in white shark activity.

It points to more of a shift in the distribution [rather] than an actual decline.

Tamlyn Engelbrecht, research manager at Shark Spotters and PhD candidate at iCWild

The drivers as to why this is happening are still a bit of a mystery for us.

Tamlyn Engelbrecht, research manager at Shark Spotters and PhD candidate at iCWild

We just have to keep collecting data and keep trying to figure out these somewhat enigmatic creatures.

Tamlyn Engelbrecht, research manager at Shark Spotters and PhD candidate at iCWild

Listen to the discussion on The John Maytham Show:


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