Cape Town False Bay White Shark

Photo: Pixabay

Just in: ‘High alert’ issued in CPT as white shark spotted near False Bay

It may not be good news for beachgoers, but marine experts will be thrilled with this news – a great white shark has returned to False Bay on Tuesday.

Cape Town False Bay White Shark

Photo: Pixabay

To the general public, a shark sighting may seem utterly terrifying. But conservation groups will be delighted to hear that one of False Bay’s most famous visitors has been clocked on the Cape Town coast once more.

False Bay runs from Muizenberg right round to Kleinmond in the Western Cape. It’s home to some of the best-kept secret beaches in the province. But over the years, it developed a reputation for being the favourite hang-out of great white sharks. Sadly, not one of them was spotted here throughout the whole of 2019 – setting off some pretty damning alarm bells for the marine biology community of South Africa.

Cape Town great white shark sighting: Someone’s happy to see them…

A warning posted by Shark Spotters on Tuesday will be music to their ears, however. It’s believed that a 4m-long great white was seen swimming near Seal Island. The City of Cape Town shared the news earlier in the day, and the team are on “high alert” to warn beachgoers of any potential sightings nearer the shore.

Close encounters in the sea

It’s the second major shark sighting in this area within the last month. The siren rang out at 11:10 on Thursday 12 December, as a bronze whaler shark was spotted at Fish Hoek Beach. Visitors were advised to steer clear of the water. Exclusion nets were deployed and a red flag was used to indicate an active alert.

The flag is hoised during periods of increased shark activity. This could include a sighting nearby, or when conditions are favourable for the presence of sharks. Siren alarms are usually activated when a white flag goes up. Beachgoers are urged to obey beach officials’ warnings at all times and pay attention to warning flags.

Just two weeks later, the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality confirmed that at about 7:00 on Boxing Day, a shark attacked a surf ski paddler off the Nahoon Reef in East London, in the Eastern Cape. The city revealed that the paddler sustained no injuries, but officials are still monitoring the region.