Published on February 4, 2014
The need to protect the Great White shark
A brief history • Even though we may think we know all about this shark from media and film, the Great White is actually quite a mysterious and compelling creature. • There are many preconceived notions about the Great White, but here is what has been gleaned about the life cycle of one of nature’s apex predators: • They are found in waters all over the world, meaning they are adaptable to most temperatures and can swim for great distances. • They are solitary animals and normally don’t associate in pairs or packs. • The mother gives birth to live young. After birth, the pups are left to survive on their own. • The litter will be between 2-12 pups while the gestation period is between 12-18 months. • It reaches maturity at 15 years and can live for up to 30.
A shark embryo
The Great White has acute senses of smell and sound. Using electro-reception, it will decipher where the prey is and whether it is sick or injured. It will then attack, weaken the prey and swerve back again for the kill. It also attacks from below, hidden by the dark of the deep.
A sad tale • Once the Great White reaches maturity, it roams the oceans and mainly feeds on turtles, other fish, seals and rays. • However, the shark may more than likely end up being caught by humans for selfish purposes such as shark fin soup, for their teeth to be sold as curios and for their meat to be sold on the black market. • At this time, the Great White and other sharks are endangered.
Human cruelty and misunderstanding Humans are unaware that Great Whites are not as much of a threat as they are believed to be. Here are a few things more dangerous than Great White sharks: • Traffic lights- responsible for 2,000 deaths every year in the US. • Mosquitoes are responsible for more than 800,000 deaths worldwide • Raw meat kills 5,000 people in the US every year.
Take action and understand • The main reason sharks are endangered is because there are not enough humans out there educating themselves and others about the importance of sharks. • There are several ways you can educate yourself and appreciate the Great White’s place in our ocean’s eco-system. • By reading books and articles, going on a shark cage diving trip, watching conservation programmes and working with researchers and shark conservation organisations, you can do your part to help the Great White and other sharks worldwide.
Shark Diving Unlimited • An organisation that cares deeply for shark conservation and research is Shark Diving Unlimited in Gansbaai, Western Cape. • Headed up by Sharkman Mike Rutzen, SDU runs a shark cage diving operation unparalleled to any in the country. On a trip with SDU, you won’t just witness the beautiful sight of sharsk but your knowledge of these creatures will be broadened by the expertise of the team. • Mike Rutzen has been involved with sharks for over 20 years. His qualifications stretch longer than the average Great White; including being dubbed “The Sharkman” for his ability to swim with these magnificent animals, Mike is also considered an expert in this field; his work has been featured on TV programs worldwide with Shark Diving Unlimited being the go-to organisation for high-profile and celebrity clients.
Book a shark cage diving trip with SDU and have a day you will never forget.
Shark Diving Unlimited Find out more about Shark Diving Unlimited http://www.sharkdivingunlimited. com/ Like the SDU Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/shark divingunlimited/ Learn more about sharks and the dangers they face http://www.sharkdivingunlimited. com/conservation/marineconservation/ Book a shark cage diving trip http://www.sharkdivingunlimited. com/activities-bookings/whiteshark-cage-diving/
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