South African Shark Conservancy works alongside government, industry, academia, and eNGO sectors to co-develop sustainable management approaches and conservation objectives for sharks, their relatives and coastal ocean ecosystems.
VOLUNTEER AND INTERN PROGRAMS
The Shark Lab
TOURS AND SHARK EXPERIENCES
The Shark Lab
The South African Shark Conservancy Lab is the central hub of all our work. The Shark Lab is home to the Shark Academy - our skills development and training division. It houses experimental tanks, a student office, education centre, and an administrative office. To ensure our research and collaborative science is robust and meaningful, research conducted at the Shark Lab is subject to peer-review.
Our core research area stretches over 200km of coastline, from Betty’s Bay Marine Protected Area (BBMPA) in the west to Quoin Point in the east. Contained within this area are three distinct management zones represented by a full MPA (BBMPA), a seasonal protected area (Walker Bay Whale Sanctuary) and a year-round open access area. This provides the unparalleled opportunity to study how divergent marine management strategies affect coastal ocean species and spaces.
How we do it
Develop baseline biological and ecological data on commercially exploited and endemic sharks using a multi-pronged research approach.
Support national and regional management of sharks and their relatives through the provision of long-term species-specific datasets.
Quantify and Monitor
Quantify and monitor trends in abundance, distribution and community composition of sharks and their relatives as a function of spatially explicit management and coastal change.
Develop livelihood diversification opportunities for marginalised fishers and coastal fishing communities.
SAY HELLO TO YOUR TEAM
The South African Shark Conservancy team has decades of cumulative experience in the fields of shark research, marine conservation and aquaculture. We are passionate about delivering field and science-based training with a focus on Africa’s diverse sharks through the Shark Academy. SASC excels at developing and implementing large scale data-driven projects that stand up to scientific scrutiny. We have proven successes working in collaborative spaces on issues of international and regional conservation concern.
Early in 2014, I came back to South Africa for an internship with the South African Shark Conservancy and, due to my enthusiasm and hard work, I was offered a position on the team. I have been in South Africa ever since and am now a Director of the SASC NPC as well as the General Manager. I am responsible for decision making as well as daily research and outreach activities, overseeing the Shark Academy skills development training for interns and volunteers, liaising with stakeholders, and managing our large ecological databases.
I joined the SASC team in early 2020 as the Scientific Communications Officer and later became the Shark Academy Program Manager. More recently, I took on the role of the Junior Manager. I am responsible for SASC’s interns and volunteers as well as the day-to-day running of the lab.
Being able to meet and work with like-minded people from across the world is very rewarding.
I'm going to work on all long term datasets that SASC has been collecting since it opened in order to protect endemic and vulnerable species of South Africa. My goal is also to collaborate with new students that will come work with us, helping them have their first experience in the marine ecology field.
Meaghen has co-authored numerous scientific papers on sharks and serves as a specialist scientist on a number of international committees, including the IUCN Shark Specialist Group. Her expertise in sharks has led her on numerous adventures, and her work has been featured on Animal Planet, BBC Earth, Discovery Channel, Forbes Women Africa, and more. She has also acted as the shark scientist on thrilling expeditions for Land Rover and Discovery Channel.
Meaghen now works for Parks Canada as a Marine Management Advisor and specialist marine megafauna and ecosystem ecologist. Her current work supports Canada's efforts to achieve the country's Marine Conservation Targets under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (Aichi Target 11). She is also a Scientific Advisor and post-graduate student supervisor with SASC.