Over the festive season, beachgoers can expect shark spotters to be on duty at eight City beaches from 12 December 2018 to 7 January 2019. The shark exclusion net is already being deployed at Fish Hoek beach on a daily basis (weather permitting) as the presence of sharks along our False Bay coastline is more prevalent during warmer months. Read more below:
With the public expected to flock to our coastline over the festive season, the City of Cape Town would like to remind beachgoers to adhere to the warnings that will be issued by the shark spotters on duty to ensure that everyone has a safe, enjoyable beach experience.
The shark spotters will be on duty at eight beaches from 12 December 2018 to 7 January 2019 including Muizenberg, St James/Kalk Bay, Caves in Kogel Bay, Glencairn, Clovelly, Monwabisi and The Hoek in Noordhoek. Their operating times will be as follows:
The shark exclusion net is already being deployed at Fish Hoek beach from 09:00 to 17:00 on a daily basis (weather permitting) as the presence of sharks along our False Bay coastline is more prevalent during warmer months.
The Fish Hoek exclusion net has proven to be an effective shark safety measure by creating a physical barrier preventing any sharks from entering the bathing area.
‘Most sightings are reported during mid-summer as the presence of sharks is more prevalent along our False Bay coastline during the warmer months. Shark sightings typically start in late August and continue through to April. The public can also report shark sightings to the shark spotters.
‘While the shark spotters and the Fish Hoek exclusion net are important safety measures, I want to urge beachgoers to please be vigilant when going into the ocean and to adhere to the warnings from the shark spotters. White sharks are present in our ocean and, by going into the water, there is a small possibility of encountering one of these animals,’ said Alderman Felicity Purchase, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development.
The public are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the following safety tips:
Use beaches where shark spotters are on duty
Take the time to speak to the shark spotters on the day you visit the beach
Use the shark spotters signs to familiarise yourself with the four-flag warning system and warning siren – the green flag indicates that spotting conditions are good; the red flag indicates that there is a high risk of in-shore shark activity; the black flag means spotting conditions are poor; and the white flag with the black shark indicates a shark has been spotted (a siren will sound and all should leave the water immediately)
Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby
Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where trek-netting, fishing or spear-fishing is taking place
Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers
Do not swim if you are bleeding
Do not swim near river mouths
Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night
Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranding nearby
Obey beach officials, lifeguards and shark spotters if told to leave the water
Be aware that the rate of encounters with white sharks rises significantly when the water temperature is warmer (18ºC or higher) and during new moon, due to increased opportunities for feeding
If a shark has recently been sighted in an area where no shark spotters are present, consider using another beach for the day
First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguard or locals about the area
For those people kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea, please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation)
Consider using a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking
Pay attention to any shark signage on beaches
The Shark Spotters Information Centre at Surfers Corner in Muizenberg is open to the public from 08:00 until 18:00 seven days a week. The centre provides up-to-date information on sharks and marine ecology, basic first-aid, general public assistance and help with emergencies, and storage of valuables and lost property.
Residents and visitors are also encouraged to download the Shark Spotters mobile app to access the latest shark safety information, including what flag is flying at each beach, the latest shark sightings, net deployments, and much more. The app is available free of charge for Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded by searching for ‘Shark Spotters’ on the app store.
For more information on the latest shark sightings and research, please visit www.sharkspotters.org.za or follow the Shark Spotters on Twitter (@SharkSpotters) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/SharkSpotters).
The above was supplied by the Media Office of the City of Cape Town on 29/11/2018.
Image Credits: City of Cape Town/ David Clode