Many people when they hear the word “shark” in False Bay immediately think of great white sharks. But, False Bay is home to an incredible diversity of sharks, rays, skates and chimeras’(all cartilaginous fish) with 27 different species, representing 15 families recorded in the inshore waters of the bay. Most of these are potential prey for great whites, especially the hound sharks, bronze whalers and guitar sharks. Shark Spotter shark sightings (via sms, website, Twitter or Facebook) are of great whites. Only under rare circumstances will we close a beach for any other shark species. Take note that to date, there have been no confirmed bull or tiger shark sightings in False Bay.


Alopiidae Alopias vulpinus Thresher shark
Callorhinchidae Callorhinchus capensis St Joseph
Carcharhinidae Carcharhinus   brachyurus Bronze whaler
Carcharhinus obscurus Dusky shark
Carcharhinus   plumbeus Sandbar shark
Dasyatidae Dasyatis brevicaudata Short-tail stingray
Dasyatis chrysonota Blue stingray
Gymnura natalensis Diamond ray
Hexanchidae Notorynchus   cepedianus Sevengill cowshark
Lamnidae Carcharodon carcharias Great white shark
Isurus oxyrinchus Shortfin mako
Myliobatidae Myliobatis aquila Eagle ray
Pteromylaeus bovinus Duckbill ray
Narkidae Narke capensis Onefin electric ray
Odontaspididae Carcharias taurus Spotted ragged tooth
Rajidae Raja alba Spearnose skate
Raja miraletus Twineye skate
Raja straeleni Biscuit skate
Rhinobatidae Rhinobatos annulatus Lesser guitarfish
Scyliorhinidae Halaelurus natalensis Tiger catshark
Haploblepharus   edwardsii Puffadder shyshark
Poroderma africanum Pyjama shark
Sphyrnidae Sphyrna zygaena Smooth hammerhead
Torpedinidae Torpedo fuscmaculata Electric ray
Triakidae Galeorhinus galeus Soupfin   shark/vaalhaai
Mustelus mustelus Houndshark
Triakis megalopterus Spotted gully shark


Reference: SJ Lamberth (2006): White shark and other chondrichthyan interactions with the beach-seine (treknet) fishery in False Bay, South Africa, African Journal of Marine Science, 28:3-4, 723-727