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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 Blog 24 June 2017 (Trip 1 + 2 + 3) | White Shark Diving Gansbaai

Author: Kelly Baker (Biologist)

Guest comment: “So sad about the sharks but overall a great experience!” – Jillian

“Round two: still awesome, incredible crew!” – Paige

“Sad we didn’t see sharks but the ray and orcas were awesome!” - Jenna

24/06/2017

Location: Joubertsdam                                                                                                                                                          

Water Temperature: 14.7’C + 14.5’C + 14.5’C

Depth: 9.8m + 10.0m + 7.9m

Visibility: 0.5m + 0.5m + 0.5m

Number of Sharks: 0 + 0 + 0

Conditions: Clear skies, slight swell and little wind.

Today was an interesting day to say the least. It was our first day back on sea after two days off due to bad weather conditions and we all had our fingers crossed that we would have some nice shark sightings. The first trip of the day set off out of Kleinbaai harbour and with the sun rising we made our way into the Shallows to be the first boat on anchor. We patiently waited but unfortunately apart from a Short-tailed stingray making an appearance we had to make our way back to land without a shark sighting. Due to tides, Slashfin needed to return around Danger Point and into Gansbaai harbour and it was here that we encountered two orca, the same two males that were sighted in the area back in April, and the same two that seem to be becoming a bad omen for our White sharks. We were lucky enough to have a nice view of these beautiful animals as we passed around the point before heading into Walker Bay upon which we also saw some Humpback whales in the distance.

The lack of shark sightings and the presence of orca in the area appears to be becoming a more frequent occurrence and whilst for some time it was thought to possibly be a coincidence we have today again been notified of a dead White shark washing up on a local beach. This specimen was retrieved by the Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Conservation Trust Team and the necropsy was undertaken in Gansbaai soon after. The examination concluded that the wounds were consistent with what is believed to be that of an orca predation. This is now the fourth White shark to be found dead and with such wounds in this area since the start of May this year. For those interested in more information please see our blogged timeline of events in May, an update on the specimen from today and our facebook page.

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