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Spotting

Spotting

Spotting

Spotting

Continuous visual surveillance by trained observers to detect potentially dangerous sharks close to shore.

EXCLUSION NET

Exclusion Net

EXCLUSION NET

Exclusion Net

An environmentally friendly net forms a physical barrier to prevent sharks from entering the ‘exclusion zone’.

SHARK SAFETY ADVICE

Shark Safety Advice

SHARK SAFETY ADVICE

Shark Safety Advice

#BeSharkSmart and reduce your risk of encountering a shark.

BEACH STATUS

BEACH STATUS

REPORT A SIGHTING

REPORT A SIGHTING

SHARK SIGHTINGS

SHARK SIGHTINGS

SHARK SIGHTINGS

SHARK SIGHTINGS

Check the latest shark sightings and spotting conditions at your local beach.

DESIGN & DEPLOYMENT

The Fish Hoek shark exclusion barrier is 350m long

The barrier is located in the southern corner of Fish Hoek bay, an area chosen as it is the most popular bathing area on the beach, and is also mostly sheltered from the prevailing winds and ocean currents in the area. The net is made from flexible HDPE twine and has a depth of between 1 m and 6 m, tapered to the contour of the sea floor. A line of floats along the top and leaded ropes along the bottom ensure that the net forms a complete barrier from sea floor to sea surface, allowing for changes in height of the water column caused by changing tides and waves.

CROP_Clare-Lindeque-net-1
Clare Lindeque
CROP_Copyright_Charlie-Shoemaker_077
Charlie Shoemaker

The net is deployed and retrieved daily by hand by a crew of 10 people with the assistance of a small motorised boat. The deployment and retrieval takes approximately an hour each, and overnight the net is stored safely on the beach awaiting deployment the following day.


The design of the Fish Hoek shark exclusion net is completely different to those used elsewhere in the world, in order to allow it to be deployed and retrieved daily. There are two reasons for this:

MINIMISE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS


Entanglement risk for marine animals (particularly cetaceans) is high overnight as it is difficult for animals to see the barrier and the exclusion net is not being monitored. During the day, spotters keep surveillance over the barrier and if any whales or dolphins approach the net a standby team is launched to actively deter them from the area, in line with South African Whale Disentanglement Network protocols.

AVOID DAMAGE FROM ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS


The net is simply not deployed during strong wind and swell conditions (or is retrieved early if weather changes during the day), meaning that you avoid the costly damage to the barrier experienced by other shark exclusion nets during bad weather / storm conditions. Repairs to the net are very simple and can be done on a continual basis on land when the net is not being deployed.

This unique design resulted in the Fish Hoek shark exclusion barrier being awarded the
2014 Eco-Innovation Award at the Enviropaedia Eco-Logic Awards.

All Shark Spotters safety, research and education operations are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
For more info about Coronavirus in South Africa see the government website below: