Shark attacks in South Africa have occurred at Nahoon Reef, Dunes, Muizenberg, Fishoek, Durban and Cape Town just to name but a few regions and although not a common occurence, strike fear into the hearts of sea users around the country. The Cape is home to some of the worlds largest Great White sharks who breed and feed in the waters of the Cape. Their diet consists mainly of Cape Fur Seals and there are more than enough seals for them to be feeding on but every now and then they attack a human being which sometimes ends in fatality.
Surfers are particularly aware of shark attacks in South Africa and speak to anyone who surfs and they will normally admit they understand the risk they put themselves at by being in the sea. There is little a person can do in the water if a shark decides to attack as you are in their territory. They are extremely agile and powerful creatures that are completely at home in the water leaving any human in their finely tuned senses as nothing but a sitting duck! Having said that, there are cases of surfers that have been attacked and instinctively fought off the power of this great fish by punching and kicking in a sharks more sensitive areas such as on its nose or poking its eyes.
The summer months are known as times when these creatures venture closer to our shores which is not great news as this is of course holiday time and a time when thousands like to enjoy playing and swimming in the ocean from the beaches. In recent times the Cape area has launched a shark spotter initiative program which has spotters situated on mountain-sides above popular surf spots around the Cape to keep an eye out for the big fish with sharp teeth! A few of the places where these spotters can be found watching the seas daily are Muizenberg, ST James and Fish Hoek near Cape Town. It seems that this great initiative has contributed towards decreasing the amount of shark attacks in South Africa and helping to make beaches a safer place to swim and surf at, at least in certain areas around Cape Town.