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Wildlife conservationist to swim in shark infested waters around Dyer Island

19 October 2021 8:27 PM
Tags:
Shark
Gansbaai
Dyer Island
De Wet Du Toit

John Maytham speaks to wildlife conservationist De Wet du Toit.
  • De Wet du Toit will be the first known person to attempt a swim to and from Dyer Island
  • The waters around Dyer Island is world renowned for its large concentration of great white sharks
  • The swim is to raise awareness about the dwindling shark numbers in the waters along False Bay and south Atlantic

© surz/123rf.com

Dyer Island is internationally known for the large population of great white sharks it attracts, but in recent years, these numbers have dwindled.

Situated about 8 kilometres from Gansbaai, the 20 hectare island is a popular shark cage diving spot and known for its large African penguin colony & other marine life.

Due to the great white shark population which congregates around the seal colony on the island, it's definitely no place for any person to go for a swim. In fact, nobody has ever successfully completed a swim to and from Dyer Island.

But wildlife conservationist, De Wet du Toit will attempt the audacious swim, in a bid to highlight the decline of the great white shark population in the waters along False Bay and the south Atlantic.

Du Toit says it's a daring campaign to raise awareness, but something needs to be done.

I believe this is the first attempt of its kind, and there's a very good reason for that....great white shark numbers have dwindled in this area in recent years, so that's why we're doing this swim...we know it's going to attract some attention to the fact that we have dwindling shark numbers in our waters.

De Wet du Toit - Wildlife conservationist

He says he's done extensive training in preparation for this attempt.

It's of course a mind game, dealing with the concept that there could be sharks in the water.

De Wet du Toit - Wildlife conservationist

One of the stressing things on our minds going into this knowing that shark cage diving operators are diving just a little bit on the other side of the island.

De Wet du Toit - Wildlife conservationist

Your mind does tend to blow this out of proportion, the risk of an actual shark incident, but that's definitely a component that one has to overcome.

De Wet du Toit - Wildlife conservationist

The reason for the drastic decline in great white shark numbers isn't known, but Du Toit believes that humans definitely have a hand in it.

One of the big realities is that we're simply over fishing the oceans. 85% of our fish stocks are either over-fished or over exploited or on the brink of over exploitation.

De Wet du Toit - Wildlife conservationist

Scroll to the top of the article to listen to the interview.




19 October 2021 8:27 PM
Tags:
Shark
Gansbaai
Dyer Island
De Wet Du Toit

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