RESEARCH TO UNDERSTAND HOW SHARKS SHAPE THEIR ENVIRONMENT

Since 2007 our team has been researching sharks along much of the South African coastline. We have tagged more than 2000 sharks representing 27 species, and are now focusing our research efforts in the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot where we are conducting an ecosystem-level study on the 62 species found in Walker Bay.

Goals of the Sharks in Ecosystems project include:

  • mapping shark diversity hotspots;
  • providing data for spatially explicit conservation planning for sharks;
  • assessing the population dynamics and key conservation threats for sharks in our area.

In addition to research, we focus on changing public perceptions about sharks through various education projects. Our goal is to promote better understanding of the role of sharks in marine ecosystems for conservation and stewardship purposes.

Our Sharks in Ecosystems project incorporates a suite of research techniques, including:

  • baited remote underwater video (BRUV)
  • acoustic telemetry
  • conventional tagging
  • drone surveys
  • fisheries assessments
  • conservation genetics
  • trophic ecology
  • diversity surveys