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Science - Fiji Shark Project
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Wildlife South Africa
Photos of the breaching Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) near Dyer island and the False Bay/South Africa.It is late afternoon. The water is dark and an especially large amount of plankton reduces the underwater visibility to a minimum. Already some time ago it became clear to me that with such an underwater visibility I could forget about the objective of my stay, which was to take good underwater photos of the Great White Shark (Carcharodon charcharias) As many times before I am sitting at the boatâs end between the two 80 HP outboard motors, the camera levelled. Through the viewfinder of my camera I am watching the neoprene seal decoy which our little boat is pulling behind it on a fishing line. I support my arms on my knees, my muscles being tense for quite some time. On many days I have persevered in this position from the early afternoon until sunset, in heavy swell, rain and storms, to take the picture of my dreams â a breaching Great White Shark, leaping for prey. Until now, all my efforts had been wasted.
Dyer Island is located six sea miles off the coast of Gansbaai (170 kilometres south-east of Cape Town), and in a short distance on the opposite side there is the small rock island of Geyser Rock. The channel between the islands is called âShark Alleyâ, which is presumably the best place in the world to watch Great White Sharks.
There is a South African Fur Seal colony with approximately 60,000 seals on Geyser Rock< As long as they stay ashore, they are secure. But as soon as they start for the open sea for fishing, they have to cross a dangerous belt which is tough. Great White Sharks are patrolling here and there is no way to escape them. The same happens on the way back. In this area it is extremely difficult for an individual seal swimming on the water surface.
We constructed exactly this case. I levelled my camera at Koekie, the artificial neoprene seal decoy, and the boat is moving along. For hours. Suddenly, a huge and very heavy body is rocketing out of the water like a torpedo. It has âKoekieâ in its mouth. Everything happens in a split second. We just watched the attack of a Great White Shark, carried out with the utmost precision.
Up to now, such breaching Great White Sharks had only been watched around Seal Island in the False Bay â another location of a large seal colony.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
© Klaus Jost - wildlife- & nature- & underwater
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