Interview with Volunteers and the Team at The Great White Shark Project | The Great Projects

Interview with Volunteers and the Team at The Great White Shark Project | The Great Projects


I mean incredible I couldn’t sleep the
first night after seeing them, just it was just you’re so excited,
your bloods boiling you’re so enthusiastic and you just want to keep
seeing them more and more and more so yeah it’s an incredible experience Most of the Sharks are really calm and just swim by and look at you and just are
calm and adorable well what I thought I liked about them and
what I’ve seen is definitely different so surprise yes they’re far calmer than I
thought they would be almost cute I know it sounds really weird because when I
came here I wasn’t expecting to see that I kind of expected to see this predator
who was going to just be jumping up and attacking everything and actually the
reality is so different and they’ve all got different personalities and I
think that that’s the thing that’s really surprised me and I’ve just become
so fond of them my first great white was two and a half meters and I’ve
watched a lot a lot of documentaries and stuff to learn most about them and when
I actually saw a white shark it was quite small actually but then a few
weeks later I saw three and a half meter female white shark and then those are a
lot bigger and then you see a proper white shark. The marine biologists here
Tom and George who they know a lot about white sharks but not only white
sharks also everything marine related I always wanted to get closer. I
wanted to do the opposite to everyone else everyone wanted to get away I
wanted to get closer learn more and even from watching sharks in an early age I
could see that they were very calm we get population estimates by dorsal fin
so dorsal fin the back edge the trailing edge which we call a posterior margin has
notches little indentations and each has an individual fin so what we’re trying
to do at the moment and is ongoing is getting as many fins at the right angle
and comparing them and constantly going through The male sharks have two claspers
they’re like two white sausages on the between the pelvic fins and the
females don’t have them but when they are smaller it’s quite difficult because
the claspers of the male sharks are really tiny when the sharks are small so
then you need to look from the cage itself so that’s why it’s important for
volunteers to dive too in the cage so they can actually take a look from
underneath why shark populations often people ask why it is going down one of
the main things we need to think about firstly before even thinking of threats
is looking at this animal’s life history obviously as an apex predator you have a
slower life history so later sexual maturity low fecundity so a low
number of pups and generally quite long gestation periods or pregnancy periods
we’re now looking up potentially for a female to reach an age of sexual
maturity where she can mate for the very first time we’re looking at about 35
years old so our population is moving sometimes one of our sharks Nicole left
Gansbaai was in Australia 99 days later off a place for Exmouth off
Western Australia and then back again in less than nine months so they’re moving
out of areas where they are protected and are looked after It’s really good to contribute to changing people’s perspectives from fear
to respect and that’s the part I like to do and try to do the most I’ve genuinely
loved it there’s just such a mix of age ranges here
everybody’s got the common interest in sharks being here but just a great bunch
of people It’s like one big family you do games, you watch movies, you cook
together you share a house together it’s amazing it’s really fun having a respect for the ocean once they leave here is the most important
thing To see sharks and learn about sharks definitely did that the bonus was just
being with a great bunch of people here so take some hoodies with you it can be
nice and warm but even South Africa’s a bit colder than I expected it to be so
bring some warm stuff And you’ll just have an amazing time I’d say about a say
a whale of a time you’ll have a shark of a time.