The wait is over! Swimmers, surfers and all sea lovers can now be even more shark smart on Cape Town’s beaches, thanks to the Shark Spotters’ new mobile app. Inspired by requests from the city’s citizens, this unique app provides water users with current and accurate shark safety information in the palm of their hands, so that they can make informed decisions about shark risk before they even arrive at the beach.
The Shark Spotters app provides the most up-to-date shark safety information, live from their operating beaches, including which flag is flying and why (e.g. poor spotting conditions due to cloud cover), the latest shark sightings at that beach, water temperature and lunar phase, and whether the shark exclusion barrier at Fish Hoek has been deployed or not.
It is updated in real time by the Shark Spotters on duty, so you are assured that you always have the most current information at your fingertips. The app also provides safety tips to reduce the risk of encountering a shark, as well as information about shark activity in Cape Town and the different aspects of the Shark Spotters programme.
Shark Spotters has gone the extra mile for Cape Town’s water lovers by providing the current weather conditions, marine animal activity in the area (such as whales, seals, dolphins, sunfish etc), details of amenities on the beaches and a short surf video. It’s a one-stop ocean-appreciation app! What’s not to love?
“As the Aquarium we are very fortunate to have been involved with the Shark Spotters research programmes for many years now,” said Two Oceans Aquarium Curator Maryke Musson. “Like them, we love sharks and we love learning about sharks and sharing that knowledge.
“We are also passionate ocean users. We swim, surf, dive, and are very proud of our partnership with the Shark Spotters app, which promotes the safe recreational use of our beaches. It is a magic fit.”
Developed in conjunction with Tap Root Technologies, the funding for the app came from a successful online public crowdfunding campaign as well as donations from local business BulkSMS, as well as the Two Oceans Aquarium.
“In partnership with Shark Spotters the Two Oceans Aquarium is able to contribute to critical research on sharks and help build awareness and appreciation of these magnificent ocean creatures,” said Two Oceans Aquarium Communications and Sustainability Manager Helen Lockhart. “The Aquarium has also supported the development of the Shark Spotters app so that everyone can enjoy the oceans in a responsible and safe manner.”
We donated R30 000 towards the development of the app, and also hosted an underwater photographic exhibition to help raise funds for the Shark Spotters app and its sevengill shark research work around the Cape Peninsula.
Shark Spotters is inviting feedback from app users so that they can incorporate more of their suggestions and requests to help make the app an ever-improving, invaluable beach safety and information tool for all water users in Cape Town.b
The Shark Spotters app is available on iOS and Android platforms and is free to download.