To raise awareness and funds for the conservation of South African shark species, Shark Spotters have organised the Shark Smart Swim Challenge - a 13km swim inside the Fish Hoek shark exclusion barrier. Our own aquarist (and resident shark expert) Leigh de Necker will be joining the Shark Spotters team for this epic swim - and we'd like to ask you to support this amazing cause.
Leigh is passionate about sharks, whether that passion comes through in her active role in spreading shark science, caring for the sharks at the Two Oceans Aquarium or simply swimming with these beautiful animals in the ocean depends on the day. Leigh is an avid swimmer and a driving force behind Shark Spotter's scientific messaging - her goal is to raise R13 000 for shark research in South Africa.
“For me to do this swim to raise funds and awareness around shark conservation is a real privilege. Shark Spotters gave me the opportunity to complete my Master’s degree, where my research focussed on white shark and sevengill sharks in False Bay. False Bay, therefore, also holds a special place in my heart, as I have spent many hours on, in and under its dynamic waters, having the privilege to see so many of the beautiful shark species that call the magnificent Bay, home. However, in doing so, I have also come to see the sad realities in many of the threats they face. Despite the strength and power sharks are known to have, they are also incredibly vulnerable. Sharks are vital components of a healthy ocean - an ocean that we depend on for much of our food and for the very air we breathe. It is, therefore, important to share this information and create awareness in order to promote and encourage efforts towards their conservation.”
Shark Spotters is a non-profit organisation committed to improving beach safety for both humans and sharks by using innovative, sustainable solutions to reduce the risk caused by spatial overlap between them. Its work includes the monitoring of sharks at major beaches and communicating safety conditions to the public, research into shark-human interactions, shark ecology and animal behaviour, and creating employment in coastal opportunities. The Two Oceans Aquarium is proud to call Shark Spotters a long-time friend, and we'd like to encourage all to support this wonderful organisation.
Leigh and the Shark Spotters team are swimming 13km - that's 1km for each of the 13 major types of shark found in False Bay! How many of these do you recognise:
- Great white shark (Vulnerable)
- Bronze whaler (Vulnerable)
- Spotted broadnose sevengill shark (Vulnerable)
- Spotted gulley shark
- Saint Joseph shark a.k.a. Cape elephantfish
- Soupfin shark (Critically Endangered)
- Smooth houndshark (Vulnerable)
- Leopard catshark
- Pyjama shark
- Dark shyshark
- Puffadder shyshark (Endangered)
- Tiger catshark (Vulnerable)
- Spotted spiny dogfish (Vulnerable)