The Sharks of False Bay……Due to the infamy the Great White has achieved in the False Bay Waters, one tends to overlook the magnificent diversity of Sharks we find in False Bay. Although being able to safely see a Great White Shark is deservedly on many a man’s bucket list, many of our smaller predators are over shadowed by the powerful presence of the White. Yet the sea that surrounds the Cape Peninsula is abundant in incredible sea life, including the Sharks listed below.
The Below table consists of the various sharks species found and spotted over the years in False Bay, it is interesting as well to note that most of these are possible and certain prey for our majestic White, and there is very little threat to human by Sharks other than our Great White, so we tend to pay less attention to them. However we are lucky enough to be home to so many wonderful species of Shark and Cartilaginous Fish, and sighting some of these beauties can be just as rare and incredible as sighting a White.
It is almost as if we have the Marine ‘Kruger Park’ in our back yard, and yet we only want to see the ‘Lion’ (Great White) of the sea. If you do find yourself heading down the Southern Peninsula, you might want to look into the profuse sea life we do have, as the many species of shark found, is only the tip of a very large iceberg. And of course, while here, book a cage dive with the Great Whites!
|FAMILY||GENUS & SPECIES||COMMON NAME|
|o Alopiidae||· Alopias vulpinus||· Thresher shark|
|o Callorhinchidae||· Callorhinchus capensis||· St Joseph|
|o Carcharhinidae||· Carcharhinus brachyurus||· Bronze whaler|
|· Carcharhinus obscurus||· Dusky shark|
|· Carcharhinus plumbeus||· Sandbar shark|
|o Hexanchidae||· Notorynchus cepedianus||· Sevengill cowshark|
|o Lamnidae||· Carcharodon carcharias||· Great white shark|
|· Isurus oxyrinchus||· Shortfin mako|
|o Odontaspididae||· Carcharias taurus||· Spotted ragged tooth|
|o Rhinobatidae||· Rhinobatos annulatus||· Lesser guitarfish|
|o Scyliorhinidae||· Halaelurus natalensis||· Tiger catshark|
|· Haploblepharus edwardsii||· Puffadder shyshark|
|· Poroderma africanum||· Pyjama shark|
|o Sphyrnidae||· Sphyrna zygaena||· Smooth hammerhead|
|o Triakidae||· Galeorhinus galeus||· Soupfin shark/vaalhaai|
|· Mustelus mustelus||· Houndshark|
|· Triakis megalopterus||· Spotted gully shark|
Till we meet again, keep that toothy grin!
By Nadine Bentley