Sharkwatching: HighTechly With Drones

Mark Girardeau hovered his drone above the water in Dana Point, Calif., looking for movement.

Then he saw it: A dark figure darting swiftly; a fin piercing the ocean’s surface.

“I got one,” he shouted out as he zoomed in on the great white, swimming just yards from shore. On the sand, other lookie-loos clutched cell phones, trying to capture images of the sharks that have caused such a buzz in recent weeks.

As Girardeau watched, the shark show grew.

“I got two sharks. There’s two great whites right here … There’s actually three now!”

Not too long ago, getting even a glimpse at great white off the Southern California coastline was rare. The occasional lifeguard or surfer might see a fin — or think they did — but they almost never had evidence to back their claim.

Then came two changes. First, in recent years, more sharks have been hanging out close to shore in Southern California. The phenomenon isn’t totally understood and it’s unclear if it’ll last, but it’s been a constant for three years. Second, everybody has access to an explosion of technical advances — everything from drones to GoPros to better video and higher-def resolutions in cellphones — that make it easier to chronicle shark sightings.

That, in turn, has turned shark watching into a pastime. Apart from most surfers — who want to stay as far away as they can — the world seems fascinated to check out sharks near the shore. There’s even a “Shark Tour” available from boats in Dana Point, Calif.

“Thirty years ago, I thought, ‘a lot of people in Southern California might go their entire lives and never get an opportunity to see a shark in the wild,’ ” said Chris Lowe, a great white expert who leads the Shark Lab research project out of Cal State Long Beach.

That’s no longer true, Lowe said.

“In some cases, they are going to see a shark, and that will be one of the coolest things they’ll see in their life.”

Lowe said it’s more than just “they’ve always been there, we can just see them because of technology.” Fisherman, lifeguards, and longtime pilots have never seen as many sharks off the Southern California coast as they have recently.

Some encounters are a little too close to comfort. Last month, a woman nearly died after she was bitten by a shark while surfing at Church beach near San Onofre. A year ago, another woman nearly died after being bitten by a shark while she trained for a Triathlon by swimming off the shore in Corona del Mar. Those were the first two major shark attacks on record in Orange County, and part of a broader pattern of close encounters.

In recent months, sharks have even photo bombed surfers, sometimes without the human knowing what happened until they’d seen the footage.

That’s what happened to surfer David Woodward, who paddled out early March for a session at San Onofre State Beach. After owning his GoPro for five years, he decided to put it on his board to try it out.

“While sitting on my board in the takeoff zone, I saw a shark in the next wave. He was about ten-feet away, out in front of the left side of my board, about to swim past me,” he wrote in an email.

It was the fifth juvenile great white he’d seen in the area at Trails, a known nursery for great whites. Initially, he wasn’t too concerned.

Then the creature took a sudden 90-degree turn — in Woodward’s direction — and that got his attention.

“That’s all I saw because, at that point, I swing my board around and tried to catch that wave to get the heck out of there.”

When he got home, he looked at his footage: Behind him, the shark was in the cresting wave, just behind him.

Surf cameras dotting the coastline by have also captured some interesting action. There was a breaching shark at Lower Trestles near surfers, just weeks before the April 29 attack at nearby Church beach. That video went viral after it was posted on social media.

Dave Gilovich, director of editorial for, saw first-hand how the “cam rewind” technology works. After sitting in the line up at Uppers at San Onofre State Park, a shark breached near him.

“I was the only one who saw it,” he said, “but it was clear as day.”

He checked the time with a guy on the sand, made a mental note, then, later, hit the “cam rewind” on the camera directed at Uppers surf break.

“I waited and waited. And, all of a sudden — boom! — there it was.”

Then there was a chilling video at the same spot the morning after the April 29 attack, as three guys suddenly started paddling for shore.

“You could see all three of them turn immediately and paddle right back onto the rocks,” Gilovich said.

One of the surfers emailed him, asking if they had the footage of a fin that came 6-feet behind them, spooking them toward shore.

“We already posted that clip, here’s the YouTube link,” Gilovich responded.

He said the footage helps add to the awareness of the suddenly shark-infested situation in Southern California water.

“The new technology is educating us about what’s out there now,” Gilovich said.

On Wednesday, Dana Wharf Whale Watching captain Frank Brennan flew a drone over a group of sharks at Capistrano Beach, practice for a “Shark Tour” his charter company plans to hold on Saturday. The captain, with 30 years of experience in the ocean, said the shark sightings are unprecedented.

“It’s super new. Every once in a while, you might see one as you’re driving along, kind of random,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this, this many sharks.”

One five-footer even came close to check out his boat. He hopes he’s able to replicate the experience during the shark tour. They held a few last year when there was word of hammerheads in the area, but he thinks this time it’s going to give a whole new experience to spectators.

“A lot of people have been fascinated by sharks their whole life,” he said. “(Before), you’d have to go to Guatalupe Island or something and get in a cage. I know a lot of people are excited about it.”

Last week, two tow-boat drivers used GoPros to capture a cluster of sharks hanging around shore in Long Beach.

Ricky Birks, a 26-year-old from Huntington Beach, Calif., estimates that he saw 13 sharks, some as close as 50 feet from the beach.

“If you walk into the water, you’re ankle deep and you’re right next to them,” he said.

He noted that the great whites seemed to like the sound of the motor, and came to the boat and checked them out. The creatures also approached the GoPro the men had slipped into the water to capture shark close-ups. Several sharks swam over to it.

“It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before. I spearfish and dive and scuba dive. I’ve seen sharks before, but not great whites,” said Birks.

“Seeing a great white that close up, it’s kind of scary.”

The sharks weren’t aggressive, and several people riding stand-up paddleboards slipped through the group without incident. He said about 6 or 7 of the sharks jumped out of the water.

“It’s a little eerie,” he said. “They’re just cruising around, feeding in the shallows.

“Hopefully, they can get what they need to get done and they can move on to the next spot,” he added.

Birks is working with Lowe’s Shark Lab to help document the animals. Lowe said the footage his team gets from GoPros is great, not just for the public, but also for scientific advances.

“They are the only thing we can afford, and they are good science tools,” he said of the images. “We can identify individuals, and count individuals, and measure how big they are.

“It’s a game-changer for science.”

Still, Lowe worries about the public getting too close to sharks. His team, he noted, has completed extensive training on how to behave near sharks.

“A lot of the times the public isn’t properly trained, that’s when people get injured,” Lowe said. “It’s cool to say you’ve seen a great white shark. But chasing them around isn’t a good idea.

“Because if they do feel threatened, they will defend themselves, like any wild animal.”

He said to remember that we are visitors. In the oceans, sharks are the locals.

“We have to respect their home,” Lowe said.

“If someone busted in your home to take pictures of you, chances are you’d be chapped.”

Florida sharks worth more alive than dead, study finds

A live shark swimming through Florida’s waters is about 200 times more valuable than a dead shark, a new study has found.

The study, commissioned by the nonprofit Oceana in its bid to end the gruesome shark fin trade, found that divers hoping to see sharks produced more than $221 million in revenue for the state in 2016 and helped supply over 3,700 jobs. That compared to just over $1 million generated by the buying and selling of shark fins nationwide.

The study, Oceana said, is the first of its kind in the U.S. to try to calculate what conservationists have long argued about many imperiled fish: they’re worth far less on a plate than they are in the water.

Sharks are in trouble and one of the reasons they are in trouble is because of the demands for their fins.

Oceana campaign Director Lora Snyder

Sharks are in trouble and one of the reasons they are in trouble is because of the demands for their fins,” said Oceana’s campaign director, Lora Snyder.

Oceana is hoping the findings help persuade lawmakers to pass a nationwide ban on buying and selling shark fins, a trade centered in Asia but executed globally and blamed, along with longline fishing and overfishing, with driving down shark populations. Earlier this month, California Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, reintroduced a ban that has so far gained 35 bipartisan signatures, Snyder said.

The U.S. bans shark finning, the process of chopping the fins off sharks and tossing them overboard, still alive, to sink and suffocate or get eaten by predators. Only 11 states prohibit importing and selling fins.


The number of states that currently ban the buying and selling of shark fins

“It’s important to know, once a fin has entered the market, did it come from an endangered shark or was that fin legally finned and got in the U.S.?” Snyder said. “Once it’s here, there’s really no way to know.”

To come up with the numbers, wildlife consultant Tony Fedler contacted 365 dive operators across the state and got responses from 237. Nearly all were small businesses. Only 42 qualified as large, with clients that included cruise ships or other tours. Fedler found that nearly one third of divers look for outings where they’ll likely spot sharks and one in five specifically look for encounters with sharks.

Fedler noted an obvious weakness in his study: the data was voluntarily supplied by dive operators who support shark conservation. However, he also pointed out that the total number of dive days he used to calculate his numbers is well below estimates by the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association, making his count more conservative. He also used expense data from a 2001 study which likely low-balled how much divers spend.

Still, dollars from dives clearly outpaces any revenue generated by the fin trade, Snyder said.

“As long as sharks remain alive in the ocean,” she said, “divers and their dollars will continue to support local economies.”

Responsible Shark And Ray Tourism


Does diving with sharks and rays affect their behaviour?

Shark and ray tourism generates hundreds of millions of dollars globally each year and, says WWF, it is growing substantially.

Businesses around the world provide a variety of activities that allow people to get close to sharks and rays, ranging from boat-based spotting to guided snorkelling, cage viewing experiences and scuba diving. If current trends continue, the numbers of shark related tourism could more than double over the next twenty years. Is this a good thing or a bad thing for the sharks?

Research published this month by American scientists finds that scuba divers can repeatedly interact with reef sharks without affecting the behaviour of the shark in the long term. Well-regulated shark diving tourism can be accomplished without undermining conservation goals.

The researchers – Darcy Bradley, Yannis Papastamatiou and Jennifer Caselle – didn’t detect differences in reef shark abundance or behaviour between heavily dived and undived locations, neither were there differences in shark residency patterns at dived and undived sites in a year with substantial diving activity and a year without any diving.

So, how can divers and dive operators ensure that they dive with sharks responsibly? The WWF, Project Aware and the Manta Trust have produced a Guide to shark and ray tourism.
Guide to Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism

Advice from the Guide to Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism to Dive Operators

  1. Operate a code of conduct to reduce pollution from vessels, discarded waste and plastics, physical and chemical damage such as boat strikes, breaking off coral and damage from sunscreen.
  2. Avoid touching the animals or altering their habitat which could ultimately damage the resources upon which the tourism businesses are based.
  3. Think several times before feeding or “provisioning” sharks. Provisioning may lead to animals ‘begging’ from tourists, and becoming aggressive if they aren’t satisfied. Studies are finding that long-term provisioning of populations of sharks and rays can have physiological and other impacts, which is why a precautionary approach is important.
  4. Proactively support conservation of the habitats and species on which your business depends. Marine protected areas (MPAs), which limit or restrict activities that affect marine life within a defined area, are one
    widely adopted conservation tool. In Palau, shark diving within the MPA is popular because the white tip and grey reef sharks are predictable, relatively numerous, and spend most of their lives in the one area
  5. Customers want the best experience they can get, so it’s important staff training goes beyond safety and customer service. Staff should receive a comprehensive induction into the business; and this should be followed by regular training and updates on the latest science, management practices, conservation and regulatory issues.
  6. Use eco-accreditation, such as that from Green Fins,

You can take a self-assessment survey to see how you score as a dive operator. The guide also provides a suite of free, practical, downloadable tools that can be used by operators, NGOs, local communities and resource managers.

Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism – A Guide to Best Practice. WWF, Project Aware, Manta Trust 2017.

Fiji shows off sharks – Hawaii should do the same

PACIFIC HARBOUR, Fiji — As the divers’ air bubbles sashayed to the surface 100 feet above, their eyes focused on the scene emerging in front of them.

A 10-foot female bull shark appeared, almost mirage-like, out of the blue beyond. Another entered, stage left. Then one on the right. And another.

Soon a dozen sharks were in view, some swimming within several feet of scuba spectators lined up to watch along a row of coral and rocky rubble.


Bull sharks are the main attraction at a dive site in Fiji’s first marine national park.

Courtesy: Alana Hong Eagle

A few certified dive masters orchestrated the show. Some hold dual roles as marine biologists and sheriffs of the sea, working to enforce the laws of Fiji’s first marine national park while educating a steady stream of tourists on the importance of shark conservation.

One swam over to a submerged trash can that the dive operator had placed for the show. He pulled out a tuna head and with a flip of his wrist let it float away, its lifeless eyes unblinking.

A 9-foot bull shark cut through a school of smaller fish, devouring it in a couple of bites. A few of the dozen divers who paid to see this world-renowned spectacle emitted muffled squeals of joy through their breathing regulators.

As Ben Saqata of Beqa Adventure Divers explained on the boat ride out to the lagoon for the dive, these apex predators are key to maintaining balanced ecosystems. They keep species down the food chain in check so those animals in turn do not dominate the food sources below them, and so on.

He said he’s seen this no-take zone become a spawning ground for other fish, and there’s been a spillover effect, pleasing local fishermen who ply the waters outside its boundaries.

Sharks are revered by many Fijians but face threats from fishermen who target certain species for their meat or fins. Protecting them has been the reserve’s primary mission, but the benefit has extended far beyond by generating millions of tourism dollars for the local economy.


Ben Saqata of Beqa Adventure Divers is a marine biologist and deputized by the Fijian government to enforce the laws restricting fishing inside the Shark Reef Marine Reserve.

Courtesy: Alana Hong Eagle

Hawaii’s Conservation Efforts

Hawaii officials have been looking to places like Fiji for marine management ideas, given their similarities as remote island chains with economies driven largely by visitors who travel from afar to experience the natural resources.

Gov. David Ige announced in September his commitment for the state to “effectively manage” 30 percent of its nearshore fisheries by 2030. It’s unclear what that will entail, but it has at least set a course.

The plan does not have specific shark provisions and the governor, through his spokeswoman, declined to comment for this report.

Ige has expressed concern about Hawaii’s marine ecosystems in a broader sense at recent environmental conferences, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress in September, where he raised the issue of climate change and its disproportionate effects on island communities.


Gov. David Ige during a press conference at the IUCN meeting in Honolulu in September.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A new marine reserve to protect nearshore waters may not be in the state’s future. But officials are looking at the process Fiji went through to establish its park

The idea of incorporating local knowledge, the best available science and traditional practices, as Fiji, the Republic of Palau and other nations have done, is being used to manage smaller areas around Hawaii, said state Department of Land and Natural Resources Director Suzanne Case.

The north shore of Kauai and west side of the Big Island now have so-called community-based subsistence fishing areas. Others are in the works for Maui and Oahu. Each has its own management measures specific to the area, developed by those communities in conjunction with the state.

DLNR spokesman Dan Dennison said the department doesn’t have any internal expertise on sharks and deferred to University of Hawaii scientist Carl Meyer, who did not respond to requests for comment. The state Division of Aquatic Resources also did not respond to a request for comment.


Blacktip reef sharks are one of several species regularly encountered in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve,

Courtesy: Alana Hong Eagle

“I’m sure that Hawaii can learn from anyplace in the world that’s trying new things,” said William Aila, a fisherman, diver and former head of DLNR who now serves as deputy director of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

“If you take a look at the community-based fisheries management initiatives that are going on around the state, you have sort of this lab of fisheries management that’s coming from the ground up,” he said.

“I know for a fact that those folks are researching everything that’s happened in the past in Hawaii, everything that’s happened in other parts of the world, and that’s being included in their individual assessments of what they’d like to see happen,” Aila said.

‘Conservation Project Running A Dive Shop’

Beqa Adventure Divers, based on the south shore of Fiji’s main island, has been taking customers out to dive the reefs of Viti Levu since 2004 when the Shark Reef Marine Reserve was established.

The reserve, which became a national park in 2014, offers exhilarating sights of several shark species amid plentiful corals and a wide range of fish of all sizes and colors.

The company’s director, Mike Neumann, said its offering a lot more than good diving.

“We’re a conservation project running a dive shop,” he said. “It’s not the other way around.”


A gray shark cruises by during a December dive in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve in Fiji.

Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

He acknowledges that not everyone supports feeding the sharks. Critics say it changes their natural behavior and can have other consequences, but Neumann pointed at studies showing little to no effect on the shark populations in the reserve. He noted there have been no shark bite incidents during any of the tours.

One study found the contents of their stomachs was less than 1 percent tuna, which is what the dive shop feeds them. Another found less diversity in the sharks going to the site; the bulls were outcompeting the tigers and other species.

“People who feed sharks are called fishermen — not a few dive operators,” Neumann said.

The bigger point, he said, has nothing to do with feeding or not feeding sharks, but instead the reserve’s value as “a proof of the concept that something like this can be done in conservation.”


Ben Saqata, center, a marine biologist with Beqa Adventure Divers, says there’s been a spillover effect from the reserve that helps boost fish populations beyond its boundaries.

Courtesy: Alana Hong Eagle

Beqa Adventure Divers partnered with Fiji’s government and neighboring villages to establish the reserve and now runs the park’s day-to-day operations.

Its employees include marine biologists who conduct shark research that’s been cited in international studies. All the workers are deputized fish wardens who have police powers to enforce laws banning fishing. That makes up for the government’s lack of resources for enforcement — a major issue in any marine protected area, including the massive Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. 

Customers pay a marine park fee to dive in the reserve. The money goes to the villages in exchange for giving up their right to fish there.

Neumann said their waters have proven more valuable as a protected reserve than a fishing ground. A 2011 study determined shark diving contributed $42.2 million to Fiji’s economy the previous year.


Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji, is receiving a steady stream of international visitors, many of whom are coming to dive with sharks.

Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

“You can’t protect jaguars if you don’t protect the jungle,” Neumann said.

Shark conservation efforts have increased in recent years in Hawaii but there’s debate in the scientific community over whether Hawaii’s nearshore sharks need further protection.

Unlike in Fiji and other parts of the Pacific, sharks are not targeted in Hawaii for food and the state passed a ban on the trade of shark fins in 2010.

The real threat to sharks in Hawaii comes from their food sources being depleted, be it from commercial and recreational fishermen or habitat loss due to polluted runoff.

Counting The Sharks

Scientist Marc Nadon of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at the University of Hawaii and his colleagues wrote a paper in 2012 estimating that the number of Pacific reef sharks had plummeted 90 percent in Hawaii.

The study found reef shark populations to be below 10 percent of the level they should be around populated islands, but could not determine the reasons for this depletion. That paper speculated that commercial and recreational fishing and an overall reduction in the amount of fish the sharks eat could explain why.

A follow-up to that study is expected within a few months, which could make its findings more defensible. The original study was criticized by some people because it relied on the observations of divers towed behind boats at a maximum 30 meters’ depth. The follow-up study uses cameras that extend down to 100 meters or more.

“We’re not saying there are no more reef sharks in the Main Hawaiian Islands, they’re still there. We’re talking about abundance,” Nadon said.

“Most people just snorkel around the main eight Hawaiian Islands and that’s their experience of what this is,” he said. “But if you go to remote areas of the Pacific, you almost don’t need the data. You just see it.”

Designating certain waters as protected marine areas would not be enough to stop the decline in reef shark stocks, Nadon said.

“The recent implementation of marine national monuments at most isolated U.S. Pacific islands may substantially increase the probability of persistence of reef shark populations, but effective enforcement and additional fishing regulations elsewhere would also be necessary to slow the decline of these species,” he said.


A 2011 study determined shark diving alone contributed $42.2 million to Fiji’s economy.

Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Scientist Kim Holland of the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology was among those skeptical of the findings that showed reef shark populations at such low levels in Hawaii.

Just because people do not encounter sharks as frequently in Hawaii as they do in places like Fiji does not mean they are not around, he said, noting poorer water visibility as one reason.

“There’s a lot of hidden shark biomass in Hawaiian waters,” Holland said.

He was careful to make the distinction between nearshore sharks, like blacktip reef sharks, and open-ocean sharks, like tiger sharks. The latter category faces significant threats, he said, because they are targeted for their fins and killed as bycatch.

If there has been a depletion in nearshore sharks, Holland said he would agree with Nadon it’s likely due to insufficient food, which would mean that addressing fishing could help.

“One of the real pressures on our reefs is gill nets are still allowed to be used in Hawaiian waters and not in the traditional sense — Polynesians only had so much capacity,” Holland said.

Restricting gill nets would help control fishing pressure on the reefs, he said, which would in turn help maintain healthy shark populations.

“It’s a hard nut to crack though because of the intersection between modern fisheries biology and advocating for traditional harvesting rights,” Holland said. “You get into that whole tension between modern fisheries management and traditional gathering rights.”


Sharks are plentiful in Fiji’s Shark Reef Marine Reserve.

Courtesy: Alana Hong Eagle

That’s a familiar battle in Fiji. Neumann, the shark dive director, said the problem is that the villages there have been fishing the same waters for generations but the fish population did not keep up with the human population.

“You can go anywhere down the coast and there is nothing there,” he said. “But how do you tell subsistence fishermen that they have to manage their resource?”

To Aila, the answer could be in the Hawaiian concept of reciprocity.

“It’s not only about the ‘right’ to fish,” he said. “It’s about, I have a responsibility to fish and in how I conduct myself.”

In order to continue fishing, Aila said, “we have to make sure we give back in terms of management or on a personal level a relationship — cleaning up marine debris or fishing lines.”

Neumann, who has spent time in Hawaii and is close with many in the science and conservation communities here, said he isn’t holding his breath for Hawaii to take strong actions to protect its waters even though the state’s economy and the public’s health depends on it.

“Unless the government gets some balls, it’s not going to happen,” he said. “The question for Hawaii is what kind of ocean do you want to show your tourists?”





-Nobody likes to hear about them when they’re swimming, let alone see one in the water with you.  But, when you’re scuba diving, MOST of the time, it’s cool to see one or a few or even a bunch!  Non-hungry, small and timid sharks don’t often eat scuba divers and that’s just science.  My how scuba diving can change the way people think about the ocean’s treasurous creatures.  And in a good way!  Myself included.

Before my thinking was changed, my family and I went on vacation to Akumal, Mexico years back.  None of us were scuba certified at the time, other than my show-off wife!  So, ocean activity comprised mostly of snorkeling and swimming in really close to shore.  And during one exciting time while we were splashing around in the very warm sea as I remember clearly, my daughter right next to me, let out a piercing and crisp shriek…, “SHARK!”; then proceeded to hop onto my back, with her legs and arms locked around my neck and torso for protection selfishly all her own.  That word, screamed in that manner, about made me come out of my skin.  Mind you that the movie JAWS screwed up my psyche along with any chance of me having a long distance ocean swimming career.  I wasn’t going to be much help to my daughter or myself if I didn’t quickly get a grip with calm perspective and fast restorative action back to clear thought and surroundings analysis.  Also, reminding myself here, that Akumal, Mexico is an absolute haven for sea turtles to do their egg-laying, hanging out and swimming around very close to the beach.  I mean that these turtle creatures are all over the place.  We saw many dozens of them, may over a hundred.  Daily!  -These last sentences being the important bits of information my brain was able to process which was able to bring me worry-relief during my body’s fight-or-flight computational environmental triage.  Were we about to get eaten by a big ass scary shark or not?!  The answer after about five seconds of wonder while my daughter was hanging for dear life around my neck was… nope.  My learned offspring followed up her one word of information for me, “shark”, with a comment that it must have been a turtle that bumped her.  No shark after all.  After hearing that new info, I began to nervously laugh and happily torture my kid for having put me through shark fear.  All’s well that ends well!

Fast forward to today.  I actually want to see sharks while I’m in the water,,, scuba diving!  -Still not while I’m swimming though.  I can’t stand the thought of being a tasty fishing bobber just hanging out there waiting to get bump tasted by an inquisitive sea cleaner.  Yuck!  Bad thoughts.  Having the scuba gear on and hopefully a camera rig with defensive big flash system in my hand out in front of me, brings me a minor sense of invincibility to shark attack.  I much prefer the latter feeling.  Sharks are extremely well designed and awesomely cool animals that nature got right.  They’ve been around for millions of years and hopefully they’ll be around for millions more.

If you want to feel better about being in the water with sharks and want to enjoy Shark Week on the Discovery channel during the summer time much much more than you ever have, you need to run out and get yourself certified to scuba dive!  I’ve never ever met a diver that thinks that diving is JUST OKAY.  They all LOVE it.  See what all the craze is about, settle your shark fears, enjoy Shark Week more.  These are all valid reasons to go scuba diving.  I can’t wait to do it again.

Go sharks! 


This is the dive signal for, “Shark”.  For this signal and many others, make sure to check out the Salty Dogs Dive Signals located HERE…


Man and Woman buy bigger boat and new underwear after shark attack

Have you ever been cage diving with Great White sharks?  Sounds crazy doesn’t it?!  Well, there are dive operators around the globe that specialize in showing you JAWS up close and personal and in 3D.  One such operator is and for only $86 USD, they’ll do their best to show you a Great White shark and a great time.  Talk about a rush!  Shark dives are the new roller coaster rides!


Why choose them to take you cage diving?  Here’s why:

  • No diving certification or previous experience required.
  • We offer the option of air supply into cage for qualified divers during the winter season.
  • Groups are limited to no more than 18 so that we can maximize your diving time.
  • A safety record spanning more than 15 years.
  • The option to be picked up and dropped off from any address in the Cape Town area.
  • Find a better price? We promise to match any written offer that you bring to us before booking.
  • Most importantly, we are so confident that you will see Great Whites that should there be no sightings, we will give you a voucher to come back and try again, free of charge.

For more information on this dive operator, hit up their website at:

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