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  • In Gansbaai, the largest white shark ever caught was at Danger Point and measured up to 5.9m. The exact world record white shark is a contested issue, but chances are it is between 6-7m.

  • If you see a white shark in the water don’t panic. Chances are high that the shark has already detected you and isn’t interested. White shark attacks are normally associated with poor visibility, so avoid murky conditions.

  • White sharks have a unique system called a “counter current heat exchange”, which keeps their body  tempreture +/- 7C above the surrounding water temperature. 

  • All sharks have an incredibly unique system on the tip of their nose called the “ampillae of Lorenzini”. These are small pores filled with a gel that transmits the electrical currents in the water to the shark’s brain so that it can assess its environment.

  • White sharks give birth to live young (not eggs), and they give birth to 6-8 pups at one time. Pups are usually between 1.0-1.5m in length and are born with teeth.

  • Body language has been a well documented form of shark communication and has identified body arching, jaw gaping, and other postures as specific social tactics.

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Daily trip 16th September 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 |  0 Comment

Author: Oliver Jewell (Marine Biologist)
Born in London, England, Oliver has been in South Africa for the past 4 years after earning a BSc (hons) in Oceanography from the University of Southampton. His first experience with Great White Sharks was similar to many people's only experience - watching the film Jaws. Since that day, he has been dedicated to learning everything he could about sharks and ways of protecting them.

Location: Joubertsdam

SST: 16.2’C

Depth: 12m

Visibility: 3m

Sharks Sighted: 10 & 8

Conditions: Stunning

One of the all-time great days in Joubertsdam; stunning and massive white sharks, flat calm seas, not a cloud in the sky and mating Southern Right Whales. Our first trip launched from Gansbaai harbour on account of the tide and the result was whale sightings in the first few seconds of the trip – first breaching in the distance and then a mating group close to the kelp. As we arrived on anchor we were greeted with 3 massive sharks between 4.5 and 5 m in length, they included ‘Evil Fin’ and the legendary Darwin; this shark has been sighted every September in Joubertsdam for the past 6 years and today was our first sighting of her this year. She’s grown massive and is very close to ‘Evil fin’ in size.

On our second trip we met what could very well become a new legend ‘Slashfin II’ like the original Slashfin the fin of this shark has been torn in 3 places and will very likely heal in a similar way to the large male who patrols Dyer Island each year. This shark is very close to 5 m in length and was in unbelievable form. Lunging and breaching at the bait time after time giving almost all of our cage divers up close looks at her fresh bite wounds. They will heal and we will be able to keep a keen eye out for this shark for years to come.

 

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