shark science


The Acoustic Tracking Array Platform (ATAP) is a national collaborative project run by the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) and the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) - in collaboration with scientists from academic institutes and NGOs around South Africa. ATAP is a series of ~200 receivers deployed along the 3000km stretch of South Africa's coastline that detects marine animals fitted with acoustic tags.

SASC is a collaborative partner of ATAP and oversees the management of four receivers in Walker Bay. We are currently sourcing funds to support the purchase of additional receivers - enabling us to have more 'listening power' throughout the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot (our study area).


Research Aims


This project aims to better understand the movement ecology of sharks throughout our study area, including a focus on:

  1. seasonal movement of commercially exploited sharks;
  2. understanding movement behavior across divergent management zones;
  3. identifying critical habitats;
  4. understanding predator-prey relationships.

Research Techniques


This project uses passive acoustic telemetry to investigate movement behavior of sharks. Sharks are captured during fishing surveys, fitted with internal transmitters and released following a full biological work-up. In future, a combination of passive and active telemetry will be used to study residency patterns and behavior of benthic sharks.