Pieter du Toit
Pieter du Toit, skipper on Slashfin, has quickly mastered the art of identifying the various sharks that frequent the area between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock and even "befriended" several by name! Pieter also enjoys handling the sharks when on board. He knows exactly how, when and where to cast the bait and when to deftly pull it back to ensure the divers get some really close encounters.
"There's more to it than meets the eye - it is quite tricky and one has to consider the underwater visiblity and read the body language of the different sharks. Some cruise slowly towards the bait, while others jump or rush towards it. You learn to identify the sharks and their individual habits and manoeuvres."
Pieter grew up in De Doorns, but spent most of his childhood family holidays in Gansbaai and thus knows this coastline like the palm of his hand. After matric he joined the commercial fishing industry in Gansbaai . . . and never left. He knew skipper Hennie from the line fishing business and when a Slashfin crew member emigrated earlier this year, Pieter jumped at the opportunity to replace him as shark handler. "I have been working at sea for the past 20 years and truly love it. To be actively involved in the conservation and research of the marine life now, is a dream come true. The sea has always taken care of me - even now - but now I can give back."