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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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The Crew

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Mawethu Phalamahashe

Chum Handler

Nicknamed Bruce after well-known Bafana Bafana soccer player Bruce Ramogida of the early 90’s, Mawethu Phalamahashe (32) traded his job at a construction site for the open seas a mere three months ago. Bruce and Khwezi were school friends in Umtata and after working in the construction business for a while, Bruce joined the Slashfin crew in August this year. After some initial bouts of seasickness, he quickly grew sea legs and mastered the art of preparing the chum. 

"I love every aspect of my job at sea - especially being in close contact with the marine animals! We learn new things about the sharks every day - I never knew they were such extraordinary creatures. The construction business is very uncertain and seasonal - here I know I have a full-time job and I can't wait to get to sea in the mornings."  

This father of two young children is eager to learn from his expert fellow crew members and to climb the ladder to also become a qualified marine tour guide. Meanwhile, Bruce is living up to his legendary nickname as a star-player for the local Zama Zama soccer team.