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Shark lovers brave the Fish Hoek exclusion zone, swimming 13km for shark safety.

Shark lovers brave the Fish Hoek exclusion zone, swimming 13km for shark safety.

Image: Leigh De Necker will brave the Fish Hoek exclusion zone for shark safety

While the iconic great white shark is without a doubt the most recognisable in False Bay in the Western Cape, it might surprise you that more than 20 different shark species have been seen in the region.

Bringing awareness to the 13 lesser-known species that are commonly found on these shores, a group of enthusiastic swimmers will dive into the award-winning Fish Hoek exclusion net on the 27th of March 2021, and swim 13km inside the exclusion zone, to raise awareness and funds for Shark Spotters.

Show your support for the swimmers

Leigh De Necker (28), an aquarist from the Two Oceans Aquarium and the driving force behind the swim, has been a long-time supporter of Shark Spotters, having been a past student at the organisation, completing her thesis on the trophic dynamics of the broad nose sevengill shark.

With her crowdfunding campaign launched on BackaBuddy, Leigh has raised over R11 000 towards her fundraising target of R13 000 in anticipation of the swim that will benefit Shark Spotters and their safety, education, and conservation activities.

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Leigh De Necker

Braving the water with Leigh, but swimming in a relay, 13 members of the Shark Net Crew, who raise the Fish Hoek shark exclusion barrier in the sea every day during the spring and summer months, have also launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to raise funds for the wages and equipment of 40 of their fellow team members.

They have thus far raised over R12 000 towards their fundraising target of R26 000 on the fundraising platform.

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The Shark Spotters Net Crew has been training hard for their upcoming swim

“Swimming inside the award-winning Fish Hoek shark exclusion net highlights our ability, to live alongside sharks, coexisting in the shared ocean space, rather than resorting to lethal methods to prevent human-shark interactions.” Says Sarah Waries, Shark Spotters CEO.

Connect with Shark Spotters

Shark Spotters is a pioneering shark safety and research organisation that has attracted international attention because of the novel way it pro-actively reduces interactions and conflict between recreational water users and white sharks. Started in 2004 in response to a spate of shark bite incidents and increased shark sightings, Shark Spotters is now the primary shark safety strategy used in Cape Town.

Image credit: Gerald Schombs

Shark Spotters improves beach safety by applying innovative and responsible shark safety solutions that reduce the spatial overlap between people and sharks, thereby reducing the risk of a shark bite. We also provide emergency response in the event of a shark incident, as well as to conduct cutting-edge applied research on shark behaviour and ecology, raise awareness about shark safety and conservation issues, and provide employment opportunities and skills development for shark spotters.

For more information, visit www.sharkspotters.org.za

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South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy has supported more than 10 000+ individuals and charities in setting up fundraising campaigns for medical fees, tuition and various causes in South Africa. The platform has thus far raised over R200 Million.

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Zane Groenewald

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