The term Marine Big Five originated in Gansbaai, South Africa and refers to the prolific population of whales, sharks, dolphins, penguins and seals that flourish along this beautiful coastline near the Southernmost Tip of Africa.
The Southern Right Whale is a baleen whale which means it has plates of whalebone in its mouth for straining plankton. Right whales are the rarest of all large whales. Right whales were named by whalers who identified them as the “right” whale to hunt.
Cape Fur Seals are endemic to Namibia and South Africa.
They are mammals, like us, which means they give live birth and feed their young with milk. Cape fur seals mostly eat boney fish but also eat squid, octopus and, on occasion, birds like the African Penguin.
This flightless seabird, also known as the Jackass Penguin, is an endangered species found off the coast of Southern Africa.During the 1900’s, the harvesting of penguin eggs and guano nearly wiped out their entire population.The total present population of jackass penguins is about
Until recently all bottlenose dolphins were considered one species.
In 1998, the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin was recognised as a separate species.This species inhabits inshore coastal waters, usually in groups of 2-15 individuals, although group size can number into the hundreds.
The Great White Shark can be found in the coastal waters of all the major oceans.
They are not mindless killers but are in fact highly selective hunters, feeding on a variety of fish, seals, and even dolphins.A recent survey suggests that there are only 5000-10,000 Great White Sharks left in our oceans.
A Great White Shark may use and lose more than one thousand teeth in its lifetime.
A number of militaries have employed dolphins for various purposes from finding mines to rescuing lost or trapped humans.
Southern Right calves grow at a rate of about 3cm per day and feed on almost 600 liters of milk per day while suckling.
Cape Fur Seals can sleep underwater and surface to breathe. Half their brain sleeps while underwater and the after half takes care of surfacing for air.
African Penguins are incredibly sociable birds, with adults forming pair bonds that last for life (as long as 10 years).
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Pioneering study in South Africa shows population of Great White Sharks could be 50% lower than previously thought.
Marine Dynamics Shark Tours along with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust released their latest research about the estimated number of Great White Sharks left in the waters around Gansbaai. The global population of great white sharks - generally estimated at 3000-5000 – may have been significantly overestimated. As a result the great white shark – already listed as a species “vulnerable to extinction in the wild” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – may be in greater danger than has been previously recognised.
The Trust’s marine biologists conducted a non-invasive study by collecting more than 20,000 photographs of great white shark dorsal fins between 2007-2012 from Marine Dynamics shark tours vessel, Slashfin. As each dorsal fin is unique to each shark, the researchers adapted a computerised fin recognition programme previously used on dolphins to accurately identify individual sharks. This analysis took more than three years to complete.
The founder and chair of the Trustees of the DICT, Wilfred Chivell said:
“Since 1991 when South Africa became the first country to protect Great White sharks, South Africa has been at the forefront of the study and conservation of the species. Now, for the first time, we have scientific evidence that the threat is greater than was previously perceived. At the Trust, we are contributing to the research urgently needed to allow effective, evidence-based conservation policies and interventions. This requires the active support of government at home – who are mandated to protect this species – and form them to urgently develop their leadership in international conservation forums. It is time for South Africa to take the initiative, because time is clearly not on the side of the great white shark.”
This Infographic outlines how the study was conducted as well as the main findings. Please, if you care about the rapidly declining numbers of Great White Sharks, SHARE THIS INFORMATION and spread the word for the Great White Shark!
Research Conducted by Marine Dynamics a Shark Cage Diving Operator in Gansbaai South Africa
Although even thinking about the Great White Shark can be enough to induce a gut-wrenching primal fear, the irony is that they are actually far more vulnerable to our actions and in desperate need of environmental protection.
This video is about trying to improve the negative perception of the Great White Shark and have a little fun along the way. Please help us by sharing this video and spreading the love.
Great White Sharks are perceived by many as mindless killing machines, while the truth is that they are actually highly intelligent and graceful creatures that deserve our respect rather than our fear.
When we heard the news on the 27 Sep 2012 that the Western Australian government had just released a shark mitigation strategy that involved the killing of Great White Sharks if they got anywhere close to beachgoers, we felt that something needed to be done to raise awareness about the issue.
This is our first post. We’ve created an infographic and compiled a list of resources and petitions. Please get involved and help to spread the word.
The Australian government announced that it would be hunting and killing great white sharks in their coastal waters as a preventative measure. On the same day, NOAA announced that it is likely that Great Whites are indeed an endagered species. The Great White Shark is also listed as Vulnerable to Extintion on the IUCN Red List. sign petition
It is important to note that worlwide the average for shark attacks per year still remains at 5 and in Australia at 0.96 per year. The likelyhood of being attacked by any shark is extreemely low. sign petition
A Western Australia plan to kill Great White Sharks on sight is sparking major opposition worldwide. sign petition
The Australian government announced that it would be hunting and killing great white sharks in their coastal waters as a preventative measure.On the same day, NOAA announced that it is likely that Great Whites are indeed an endagered species. The Great White Shark is also listed as Vulnerable to Extintion on the IUCN Red List.This is an important international issue. Little is known about great white populations and many scientists suggest their species is currently vulnerable and possibly on the road to extinction. As an apex predator, the loss of such an important part of the ecosystem could result in drastic and far reaching consequences on a global scale. sign petition
In response to these attacks, the Western Australian government has decided to spend A$6.85 million in an attempt to kill sharks that “pose an imminent threat” to beachgoers. Australian media often sensationalises shark attacks – making them out to be vicious, indiscriminate killers, however the statistics do not support these claims. According to The Australian Shark Attack File, in the last 50 years there have been 55 recorded unprovoked attacks, which averages at about 1.1 attacks per year. sign petition
We, the undersigned, call upon the leaders of all the world’s nations to ensure the conservation and protection of our sharks. sign petition
Western Australia has set out measures aimed at reducing the risk of shark attacks at the state’s beaches, after a string of deadly incidents.
The A$6.85m ($7.12m, £4.41m) package includes funding for catching and if necessary killing sharks “posing an imminent threat” to beachgoers.
Other funding is allocated to tagging and research programmes. read more
Western Australia officials have approved a plan to kill sharks that venture too close to people in the water.
Western Australia state Premier Colin Barnett announced the plan on Thursday following a string of deadly shark attacks off the state’s coast.
The plan is a sharp reversal of the current policy, which permits the killing of sharks only after they have attacked. read more
Following a record number of attacks this year, and retracting his earlier stand, the leader of a state on Australia’s west coast announced Thursday that any great white sharks seen near beachgoers would be killed in order to prevent attacks on humans.
“We will always put the lives and safety of beachgoers ahead of the shark,” Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett told ABC Radio Australia. “This is, after all, a fish — let’s keep it in perspective.” read more
A rise in the number of shark attacks has prompted Australia to introduce a controversial “kill on sight” policy, designed to protect beachgoers from Great Whites that get too close. read more
CANBERRA, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Authorities will hunt and kill great white sharks which pose a threat to swimmers along Australia’s western Indian Ocean coastline under a new plan to protect beachgoers after five deadly attacks in the past year. read more