Shark Spotters Keeping Plettenberg Bay Safe

Plettenberg Bay is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, diverse marine life including the Great White Sharks, and adventurous water activities. Sharks play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of this underwater world. To ensure both the safety of beachgoers and the preservation of these magnificent creatures, enter the Shark Spotters, a pioneering program that has become a critical part of Plettenberg Bay’s efforts to ensure the safety of both its residents and visitors while fostering a harmonious relationship with marine life.

This initiative has not only created jobs along the coastal towns of South Africa but also engages in educational activities to change people’s perceptions of sharks. The Shark Spotters aim towards shark safety in a sustainable way, instead of using lethal measures, and protects both sharks and people in the area.

There are currently five spotter sites along Plett’s beaches:

  • The Wreck
  • Robberg 1
  • Central Beach
  • The Wedge
  • Lookout Beach

The crew is on site from 7:30AM to 05:00PM during winter – they are equipped with binoculars, polarized sunglasses and walkies, and maintain communication with the lifeguards on duty.

The spotters scan the ocean for silhouettes moving through the water, and with their knowledge and training they can accurately identify marine animals based on their size, shape, and movement patterns.

Once a shark is seen approaching the bathing area, the spotter will make contact via radio with beach control and lifeguards on duty. The lifeguards then promptly evacuate swimmers from the water and close the beach for at least 30 minutes. The beach remains closed until the shark leaves the area.

Thank you to the team from Plett Shark Spotters and for the information provided.