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The Great White Shark

Help Stop the Needless Slaughter of The Great White Shark

South Africa is one of the foremost areas for observing and studying the great white shark. Now a protected species in South Africa, the great white can grow up to 4 tons in weight and 23 feet in length.

The great white shark has had really bad press over the years and as a result, they are among the most hated, misunderstood and maligned creatures on the planet. Shark have been hunted and killed indiscriminately, to the point that many species are on the endangered list. Combined with the slow breeding cycle, poaching of their dorsal fins, degradation of their environment and fishing practices that are unsustainable, the great white could disappear altogether within decades.

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The Great White Shark Project

With the most experienced shark team in Africa, the Great White Shark Project is dedicated to the study and conservation of these amazing creatures. Combining their infrastructure, enthusiastic staff, knowledge and background, this organization provides successful, high quality expeditions studying the great white shark and the environment in which it lives.

Running out of Klein Bay, outside a seaside village called Gaansbaai, about 2 hours southeast of Cape Town, South Africa, this organization works with conservation groups, scientists, eco-tourists, students, sport divers and operators, and subsistence fishermen to collect data on the great white shark.

The data collected helps to reduce the tragic annual slaughter of over 100 million shark. It also corrects some of the misconceptions about these incredible predators of the deep. Programs currently being run include behavioral studies, visual tracking, eco-tourism, and public education about the sharks and their environment. Over the years, they have tracked and recorded shark activity by tagging over 400 individuals.

The Project’s primary focus involving volunteers includes eco-tourism, which means going out to sea for viewing and cage diving with the great whites.

Besides getting hands-on practical experience, volunteers are involved with many other parts of the project including recording shark data such as size, sex, behaviour and markings. They also work with the eco-tourists, prepare bait, pack the boats and take care of the equipment. The volunteers get up early, go out to sea to work with the Great White Sharks. They are taught how to safely work with the dive cages.

Being surface feeders, the Great White Sharks give volunteers the thrill of a lifetime when they lift their heads out of the water, maybe even breach it altogether, to take the bait.

In Shark Alley, there will be many opportunities to view and photograph the sharks as well as other animals such as Jackass Penguins, Gannets, Cape Cormorants, Cape Fur Seals, dolphins and the incredible Southern Right Whales that inhabit or move through the area.

Training in aspects of shark research and marine conservation is given and university credits or certificates of accomplishment are available at the end of the volunteers’ experience. Scuba certificates are not required, but volunteers must be 16+ years old, or if younger, accompanied by parents or guardian.

The cost of $895 (or the equivalent in their home currency) covers the volunteers’ contribute for one week’s training, the boat, accommodation, transport between Cape Town and Gaansbaai, daily lunches and snacks. Flights, travel/medical insurance, breakfasts and dinners are not included.

Have the experience of a lifetime and progress the knowledge and conservation of the Great White Shark by volunteering with the Great White shark Project in the waters of the Indian Ocean, off the coast of South Africa.

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