Great Whites Facing Great Danger in Gansbaai

Written by on June 25, 2013 in Marine Life, Sharks
Researchers used photos of dorsal fins to identify individual great white sharks.

Researchers used photos of dorsal fins to identify individual great white sharks. Photo credit: Bring on the Photog via photopin cc.

A five-year population study of great white sharks at Gansbaai, South Africa, reveals that the population hasn’t recovered since gaining formal protection in 1981. The authors of this study note that if the great whites are to survive, additional international conservation measures will be required.

Researchers from the Dyer Island Conservation Trust made 1,647 trips on a shark-cage diving vessel obtained 1,683 useable images of the great white sharks’ dorsal fins. The images were used to identify 532 individual sharks.

Using this data and computer models, the researchers found that this particular “super-population” is composed of only 908 individuals. This might seem like a big number, but it is less than half of what the researchers were expecting, which led them to conclude that sharks are not receiving adequate protection for healthy population growth.

Check out the following infographic to learn more:

Research Conducted by Marine Dynamics a Shark Cage Diving Operator in Gansbaai South Africa

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Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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