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What Influences Shark Sightings?

MSc student: Kristina Loosen (UCT)

Supervisors: Prof Justin O’Riain (UCT), Dr Alison Kock (Shark Spotters, UCT, SAIAB), Dr Henning Winker (SANBI)

Funded by:
 Shark Spotters


Understanding the drivers of animal movement is fundamental in ecology. We know that white sharks are common along the inshore areas of False Bay during spring and summer months (Kock et al. 2013). Furthermore, research has demonstrated a strong relationship between water temperature and lunar phase on the presence of white sharks at two beaches in False Bay (Weltz et al. 2013). However, a major gap in our knowledge is how biological variables, such as prey availability, influence white shark presence. Understanding the drivers of white shark presence will assist Shark Spotters and local authorities in improving public shark safety advice.

All Shark Spotters safety, research and education operations are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.