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Ocean Health

Discovering Sharks in South Africa

What’s swimming in Walker Bay? Get to know the sharks that live there so that we can better protect their habitat.


Explore this expedition

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The facts

Accommodations and food

  • Private house in Hermanus, South Africa
  • Home-cooked meals
  • South African braai (BBQ)

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

A recent report estimated that humans kill 100 million sharks annually. Help these scientists advocate for their protection.

Be among the first people to study shark species that live in South Africa and nowhere else in the world.

A baby puff adder shyshark.

A baby puff adder shyshark.

When most people think of sharks and South Africa, they think of great whites. But the real story of sharks in this incredibly wildlife-rich country is much more complex. Katie Gledhill, the lead scientist, wants to discover and tell this story, and needs your help to do it.

While there's plenty of research on great whites and other well-known species like bull sharks and whale sharks, very few people have studied the species you'll work with. No one has yet taken a comprehensive look at where in Walker Bay these sharks like to feed and rest, how they move around the bay, and how big their populations are.

You'll be among the first people to ever uncover this information, which will reveal which areas are most crucial to these sharks’ survival and if current seasonal fishing bans work. The research won't only benefit sharks: while you analyze underwater video footage, you'll count rays, fish, octopuses, lobsters, and other species to help create a picture of the entire Walker Bay ecosystem.

Sharks, as top predators, play an important role in maintaining the health and diversity of the species populations around them—so if sharks disappear, everything changes. Help researchers understand the critical role these overlooked sharks play in Walker Bay.

About the research area

Walker Bay, South Africa, Africa

Daily life in the field

Itinerary

This is a summary:

The Scientists


MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Katie
Gledhill
Research Scientist, South African Shark Conservancy

ABOUT Katie Gledhill

Katie Gledhill has studied sharks and rays around the world. She has a passion for inspiring new shark advocates through science and education.

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MEET THE OTHER SCIENTISTS

Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food

Reviews

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