Shark Spotters are positioned at strategic points along the Cape Peninsula, primarily along the False Bay coastline. A spotter is placed on the mountain with polarised sunglasses and binoculars. This spotter is in radio contact with another spotter on the beach. If a shark is seen the beach spotter sounds a siren and raises a white flag with a black shark. When the siren sounds the water users are requested to leave the water and only return when the appropriate all clear signal is given.

Where and When are the Shark Spotters on Duty?

Permanent Beaches (365 days a year):
Muizenberg: 8am – 6pm
St James/Kalk Bay: 8am – 6pm
Fish Hoek: 8am – 6pm (7am – 6.45pm in summer)
The Hoek, Noordhoek: 8am – 6pm
Caves, Kogel Bay: 8am – 6pm

Temporary Beaches (Oct – April: Weekends, Public Holidays and School Holidays)
Clovelly: 10.00am – 5pm
Glencairn: 8am – 6pm
Monwabisi: 8am – 6pm


Explanation of Shark Spotters Flags

Spotting conditions good, no sharks seen Spotting conditions good, no sharks seen.
Haaikyktoestande goed
Limeko ezilungele ukujonga ookrebe

Spotting conditions poor, no sharks seen Spotting conditions poor, no sharks seen.
Haaikyktoestande swak
Limeko ezingakulun gelenga

High Shark Alert High Shark Alert. Either a shark has been seen in the last two hours, or there is an increased risk of a shark being in the area.
Ernstige haaiwaarskuwing
ISilumkiso sooKrebe abaNinzi

Shark has been spotted. Leave water immediately. Shark has been spotted – siren will sound. Leave water immediately.
‘n Haai is gesien – sirene sal loei. Verlaat die water onmiddellik
Kubonwe ukrebe – kuza kukhaliswa ixilongo lokulumkisa. Phumani ngokukhawuleza emanzini

No Flag = No spotter on duty.

Click here for detailed protocol for flag system



Please Note:

The Shark Spotting programme is an early warning initiative provided as a service to communities. Although effective, Shark Spotting can never guarantee your safety 100%. Shark Spotters are not responsible for your safety, Use of the Ocean is at your own risk.

In the event of a shark bite, trained personnel will visit the site to collect information on sea conditions, shark behaviour, collect victim where possible and eyewitness statements. The research boat will be launched where appropriate.