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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You may all remember the famous photo of the Great White shark shadowing the guy in the yellow kayak off the coast of False Bay, in South Africa.
On my recent trip to Johannesburg, I happened to buy the book "South Africa's Great White Shark" by Thomas Peschak and Michael C. Scholl. Peschak was the photographer who took the famous photo, which subsequently caused much discussion as to whether the photo was doctored or not. In the book it shows a number of other similar photos and they are certainly the real thing. It seems the researchers used kayaks to study the GWS of False Bay as it allowed them to approach the sharks with ease in shallow water, and get closer to them. The motorised research vessel emitted electromagnetic discharges and vibrations and the researchers found that these "disrupt sharks natural behaviour". They were either persistently attracted to, or repelled from, the boat".
They also write: "Upon first encountering the kayaks, the sharks circled us cautiously; but they soon became comfortable enough to swim alongside us to within a metre of our vessels (kayaks). As we had hoped, they then continued on their way, disregarding our presence completely, allowing us to track them discreetly and observe their natural behaviour".
The authors also offer the following advice:
"Avoid paddling in areas known to be frequented by GWS i.e near seal colonies.
If approached by a GWS, stop paddling and remain still - it is the movement of the kayak that most interests the shark.When we have encountered GWS while conducting research from kayaks, we have found that the harder and faster we paddled, the greater was the sharks' interest, and the closer they came to the boat. Once we stopped paddling, however, most of the sharks circled the kayak once or twice and then lost interest.
Use a large kayak, for it seems that the bigger the craft, the less likely it is the GWS will risk an investigatory bite.
As with swimmers and divers, there seems to be safety in numbers - paddle in groups".
And now the photo one more time....
Cheers

Simon
Yellow Prowler 15 :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well...yes indeed, Gatesy. Besides, sharks have two "appendages" so we mere mortals are already behind in the "tackle" stakes. The sharks have everything bigger and better than us humans.
You coming with us to Akuna on fri night?
Cheers

Simon
Prowler 15
 

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Very interesting
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One of the comments in the book was they noticed the GWS of False Bay appeared to be calmer in nature. This is possibly due to the abundance of prey i.e. seals or maybe because the sharks are in their "territory". I don't know about other species, although encountering a Tiger shark or large Whaler (Carcharinus species) would probably have a different outcome. Tigers and Whalers are notoriously inquisitive and quite aggressive, especially when retrieving fish on the end of a fishing line. Either way, I think that kayaks and sharks, no matter how small, are probably not the best mix.
Cheers

Simon
Prowler 15
 

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onemorecast said:
Hmmm....I wonder if a shark might mistake a Hobies flippers for something more natural? :(
Eric, A very good point... :shock:
I have always wondered about this, but try not to worry about it too much. It makes you appreciate stocked impoundments! :D
 

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Thanks for that info Simon. I know have the story behind the picture that is my screen saver at work.
 
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