Beachgoers were evacuated at a number of beaches on Thursday where sharks were spotted at Clovelly, Muizenberg and Clifton beaches.
Shark Spotters confirmed on their social media platforms that seven bronze whaler sharks were spotted at Clovelly beach just after 3pm on Thursday, while another shark sighting was confirmed at Muizenberg beach just after 2pm.
Shark Spotters spokesperson Alison Kock said: “(On Thursday) at Clifton Beach, a small whale shark, reportedly around 3m, was spotted in shallow waters. The NSRI and Shark Spotters co-operated to guide the shark into deeper waters until it vanished, staying on standby. Whale sharks, typically found in warm tropical waters, are filter feeders. Such occurrences in the Cape are unusual, happening a few times a year. Interestingly, the first scientific documentation of a whale shark dates back to 1828 when one was harpooned in Table Bay, Cape Town. Remarkably, these creatures are the largest fish in the ocean reaching up to 18m long. They are harmless and feed on plankton and small fish.”
In a video circulating on social media, Clifton beachgoers watch from ashore how the shark had to be guided back into deeper waters.
@jessjo_jardim Most exciting event of 2024 so far! Excuse the commentary 😂![CDATA]>🤍 #whaleshark #cliftonbeach #capetown #2024 ♬ original sound - Jess
Water users were evacuated as a precaution. Earlier in the day, the shark exclusion barrier had been deployed at Fish Hoek.
To report any shark spottings or people in distress in sea water, call the following numbers:
Shark Spotters at 078 174 4244
NSRI at 021 449 3500
City of Cape Town Emergency at 021 480 7700.
For more information on shark-spotting safety, visit https://sharkspotters.org.za/