Shark Spotters

Shark Spotters

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Shark Spotters are located at the following beaches:
MUIZENBERG
DANGER BEACH, ST JAMES
CLOVELLY
FISHHOEK
GLENCAIRN
THE HOEK, NOORDHOEK
ALPHA SURF LIFESAVING CLUB, BLUE WATERS BEACH
MONWABISI SURF LIFESAVING CLUB, MONWABISI BEACH
MNANDI SURF LIFESAVING CLUB, MNANDI BEACH

Communities in False Bay responded to the increase of sharks observed over the last few years by initiating the shark spotting programme to reduce the interaction of recreational water users and sharks.

Shark spotting started very informally at Muizenberg Corner where organizers of surfing competitions asked individuals working as car guards to look for sharks from the beach. In October 2004, after seeing that council and communities were dragging their heals, Greg Bertish, a surfer and the owner of True Blue Surf and Adventure Travel, decided to formalise and set up a formal Sharkspoting system. Using personal Funds and railing friends and surfers together, he started fund raising. Greg employed and worked with RASTA Davids, the original Carguard/ spotter and Monwabisi Sikiya ( a Lifeguard).One was to be stationed on the beach on a tower ( beach watch), while the other was stationed high on the mountain above the beach. ( mountain watch) With Sponsorship from PUMA SA; and REEF WETSUITS, Greg bought and installed a SHARK ALARM that could be triggered by remote from the mountain , and introduced and installed the FLAGPOLE signaling system. With Funding and help from TRUE BLUE TRAVEL as well as Dave and Fiona Chudleigh ( SURF SHACK) and from other locals and shops, he then setup: a base station at SURF SHACK; bought Radios; sent Fiona and Rasta on a first aid course; organised medical supplies, sunglasses, binocs, and implemented the first formal sharkspotting setup in the Country.

At the same time Spotters for the trek net fisherman at Fish Hoek would inform the local Law Enforcement officers on the beach of any shark sightings. This community initiatives grew and became more formalized , following in the footsteps of the Muizenberg system, set up by Greg Bertish.

The City of Cape Town’s Environmental Management Department became involved in the spotting programmes, collecting and collating data recorded by the spotters and assisting with the development of safety protocols. In November 2005 the City provided R400 000 to the two existing programmes and to expand the programme to other beaches. During the holidays in January 2006 lifeguards from Monwabisi, Mnandi, Blue Waters, Strandfontein and Sunrise performed the additional function of shark spotters.

At the same time two non-governmental organizations became involved in the programme. AfriOceans Conservation Alliance provided shark warning and information sign boards for Cape Town’s beaches; and WWF through the Table Mountain Fund provided funding to employ a full time Shark Spotting Programme Co-ordinator.

Tel: 021-783 3433

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