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Predatory Role of Sharks

Large, predatory sharks can affect prey populations in two primary ways. They can directly influence the densities of their prey, or they can indirectly influence prey behaviour. Both ways can have important impacts on populations and ecosystems. This research aims to better understand why sharks are important to our coastal ecosystems.


White sharks have a significant effect on Cape fur seal behaviour, influencing seal movement in time and space.

Although dusky sharks (Carcharhinus obscurus) primarily eat fish, they are opportunistic and formidable predators capable of killing vulnerable whale calves.

Sevengill sharks in False Bay have been found to occupy a higher trophic level than white sharks.

  • An investigation into the trophic dynamics of the broadnose sevengill shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) in False Bay, South Africa using multiple tissue stable isotope analysis. (See “What’s on the Menu for Sevengill Sharks” under our “Research Highlights”)