Great white shark appears near surfers in South Africa

The incidents were reported along the southern Cape coast and Easter Cape, according to a Sea Rescue South Africa (NSRI) statement released on Tuesday.

These waters, off the city of Cape Town, are known as some of the best places in the world to spot predators, but research shows that the number of sharks has declined significantly.

However, the past few weeks have seen a “large number” of sightings and some close encounters, said NSRI, which released drone footage showing a shark near a group of surfers in Plettenberg Bay.

It is normal for more sharks to be seen in the area at this time of year, as they feed on seals and fish near the coast, the organization explained.

“The behavior seen in this video shows that the shark knows surfers and is investigating surfers,” Sarah Waries of the Cape Town City Shark Spotters (CoCT) program said in the statement.

“It is important for people to remember that great white sharks are naturally inquisitive apex predators and that while shark bites are rare, water users must understand the inherent risk associated with sharing the ocean with these animals and changing their behavior in consequence to avoid encountering sharks. “

Has the great white shark really disappeared from Cape Town's waters?

On several recent occasions, authorities have had to ask surfers to leave the water after sharks were spotted nearby.

CoCT Shark Spotters has published tips to reduce the risk of close encounters, including staying out of the water when birds, seals, or dolphins feed nearby.

People are also advised to stay out of the water where they are fishing or bleeding, and to stay away from river mouths and deep waters beyond breaking waves.

Going into the water alone, at night, or if there has been a stranding of whales in the area is not recommended.

Another tip includes using a personal shark shield, a device that creates an electromagnetic field to deter sharks, and paying attention to shark signaling.

Great white sharks in South Africa on their way to extinction: study

Those who use kayaks or surf skis offshore are advised to paddle in groups in a nearby diamond formation.

Most shark attacks on humans occur when the animal is confused, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. “Mouth” foreign objects to determine what they are and if they are worthy of a meal.

There were 64 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide in 2019, two of which were fatal, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Shark Attack Database.

A provoked attack is defined as one in which a human initiates interaction with a shark, for example trying to feed it.

CNN’s David McKenzie contributed to this report.