Great white sharks seemed to have returned to South African waters recently, making shark spotters to be back in action as well. Renewed threats are underway as the ocean’s second apex predator has made a comeback that is several years in the making.
It can be recalled that within a decade ago, multiple great whites left their natural habitats off the coast of South Africa due to a duo orca, named “Port” and “Starboard.” Both killer whales are notoriously known for eating the liver of the ferocious sharks that they preyed on.
While the predatory fish is a danger to swimmers, local authorities and conservationists are weighing measures to protect both great white sharks and humans, not just the latter. Aside from life-threatening currents and waves, the waters surrounding South Africa are also known for the risk of shark attacks.
Great White Sharks Return
(Photo : Photo by Oleksandr Sushko on Unsplash)
Great white sharks have been spotted off the beaches of South Africa in early December for the first time in over four years. Their return is also a security concern since these marine animals in the past were responsible for fatal attacks on swimmers. Yet, the sharks’ comeback also signify the absence of the duo orca, which were reportedly the reason why they left in the first place.
The duo pair of male killer whales Port and Starboard gained popularity in 2015 after scuba divers found several dead broadnose sevengill sharks off the coast of South Africa. Since then, scientists blamed the deaths of different sharks to the duo orca, which made a bizarre feat of killing 17 sharks in one day.
Further evidence of the bizarre shark killings occurred in 2017 and 2019, when bodies of great white sharks washed up ashore with only their livers “eaten out” from their bodies. The succeeding years will also see the confirmation that orcas (not only Port and Starboard) stalks and attacks sharks in a strategic way.
Also Read: Killer Whales ‘Port’ and ‘Starboard’ Return in South Africa, Duo Ate Livers of 17 Sharks in One Day
South Africa Shark Attacks
Shark encounters, either fatal or not, do occur in different parts of the world. While the ocean is a vast and treacherous place, there are coastal areas where beachgoers face a heightened risk of encounters with sharks.
In the past, victims of shark attacks include swimmers, divers, and surfers. Based on records, South Africa in one such place where the presence of sharks has been instilled in the minds of locals.
Since 1905, there have been a total of 109 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, followed by 90 in KwaZulu-Natal, 60 in Western Cape, and one in East London. This South Africa shark attacks data is according to the International Shark Attack File.
In 2022, a Cape Town woman was mauled to death in a fatal shark attack off a beach in the Plettenberg Bay area of South Africa. The victim, who was with her husband and child at that time, was found dead in a popular tourist area.
Related Article: Dozens of Sharks Avoid South African Waters as Killer Whale Duo ‘Port’ and ‘Starboard’ Hunt Them
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