Why do Great White Sharks move inshore?
The Great White Sharks’ inshore movement starts to be seen as spring time arrives in Cape Town. As the sea temperatures begin to warm up False Bay, and the wind patterns start to change from a North Westerly to a South Easterly wind , the bay’s see’s an abundant of sea life coming in.
Waters are churned up by the SE wind, and with the increase of the water temperature it often results in brown blooms of microscopic algae (Annaulus algae) turning the water brown very murky. The brown colour of the water can be seen from Muizenberg for several kilometres to the east along the False Bay Coastline This is a natural phenomenon that occurs at certain times of the year and under certain seasonal and climatic condition.
These conditions are perfect for little fish such as maasbankers, anchovies, mullet and sardines to come into the bay en mass. These are bait fish and soon bigger game fish follow such as yellow tail, elf, leervis, kabeljou and snoek to feed off the bait fish.
In response to migratory prey species moving into False Bay with the approach of spring so do the predators. Not only Great White Sharks move inshore, but also shark species like Bronze Whalers, Common Threshers, and Guitar sharks. Here is a link to a list of further sharks and rays seen in False Bay. This provides the perfect alternative to a largely Cape Fur Seal based diet that the great whites have been feeding off during the winter months.