Expedition 2006 - South Africa and Lake Malawi

JBL Expedition 2006 - South Africa and Lake Malawi

White Sharks

Expedition 2006 - White Sharks

Because man, mainly the Asians, kill 200,000,000 (200 million!!!) shark a year for their shark’s fin soup, shark are on the edge of extinction. SharkProject (www.sharkproject.com), the organization for the protection of sharks, organizes many events to de-criminalize sharks. Some people, such as Dr. Erich Ritter or Andrè Hartmann, swim with white shark without using a protective cage in order to demonstrate that sharks are not monsters.

The team had the fantastic opportunity of meeting the world’s leading shark experts on site. Andy Cobb and Dr. Erich Ritter gave the team members an exclusive lecture on interactions with sharks, in order to better understand their body language.

A white shark tour runs like this: from Kleinbaai about 20 minutes by boat to Dyer Island, where about 60,000 sea lions live on the small rocky island of Geysor Rock. Anchoring in Shark Alley between the two islands, the shark cage is attached to the side of the boat. Bait, fish scraps and fish blood are put into the water and you wait. Sometimes it takes an hour or even longer before a Great white comes along. Sometimes it’s less than ten minutes before the first predators are sighted.

There are two sorts of white shark: one type comes briefly to the boat, perhaps tries the bait and quickly disappears again. The other type plays and stays – these are called players. Now it’s time to get ready and into the shark cage. Just 4 people fit into the cage. The rest of the team wait at the railing and watches what happens from on board. The water is 15° C cold, and the divers cool down quickly.

Experiencing these creatures both above and below the water is something you will remember for the rest of your life. Shark tourism is booming and the positive aspect is: anyone who has made such a trip automatically protects shark in the future. And sharks badly need protection, after all, if mankind is frightened of something, he will never protect it, will he?