Great Whites are believed to be very close to extinction off the coasts of South Africa. They are seriously endangered in Gansbaai near Cape Town and are amongst one of the most threatened animals on earth. It is estimated that there are about 600 Great Whites living in Gansbaai and approximately 1000 living just outside of Cape Town.

Extinction of Great White Sharks - Red List - South Africa Conservation Programs

Extinction Great White Sharks

Should the ecological balance for the king of all oceans be destroyed, the consequences will be dramatic. This great predatory fish regulates penguin, fish, squid and fur seal populations off the coast of South Africa. Should a broken link in the chain occur, an overpopulation of other marine animals would ensue and nature’s natural balance could be destroyed.

A good comparison would be the various vulture species in Africa. Once a wild animal dies in the savannas of Africa, various species of vulture gather on the surrounding trees and wait for a specific vulture species which is able to open the carcass. Only then can the other vultures spring into action. Should the vulture species which is able to open up carcasses die, the other species will die as well. It would be a very similar situation if Great Whites were to die out. Numerous marine animals live alongside them and benefit from their prey. Additionally this shark species is a sort of health police in that it also eats carrion.

It is believed worldwide that the total number of Great Whites is 50% lower than estimated figures, due to overfishing. Marine biologists originally estimated a global count of approximately 5000 sharks.
The fishing industry, marine pollution and the consumer behaviour in Asia are to blame for this. Here white sharks are still being trapped in masses and killed only for their fins. Even Spanish and Portuguese fishing boats participate in the killing of the Great White Shark.
In the past they used to catch the shark species, cut off the dorsal fin and put the shark back into the water alive. The shark would sink into the depths and die in atrocious conditions. In Europe this has been strictly prohibited and predatory fish are to remain on the boat. Whether this is adhered to or not cannot be confirmed as it is not controlled. Many fishermen continue to operate as in the past due to lack of space on their boats.

The medical industry is another enemy of the shark. Bogus studies were launched due to claims that shark cartilage can cure various types of cancer even though it has in the meantime been proved that ingestion has no medical effect. However, at least 20 sharks die every day for their cartilage, just so that an ineffective shark powder can be manufactured.

There may not be much running smoothly in South Africa, however the protection of endangered land and marine animals is. It is demanded of the South African government that an initiative as well as global conservation program be put in place for Great Whites. Additional protective measures need to be taken in Gansbaai especially, where the densest population of Great Whites in South Africa exists.

As soon as fisherman realise that a living shark could profit them financially, the situation will improve immensely for the predatory fish.

Many people are employed within the tourism industry of South Africa and make a living from shark tours and cage diving. Many shark trips are offered daily from Cape Town and other cities. If the ocean’s largest predator were to die out, thousands of jobs would be lost and our company would suffer greatly as well.

It is our hope that numerous organisations come through for the protection of the Great White shark in preserving their numbers globally.

Stand together with us in the fight for the Great White by not purchasing any shark products.

Your Cape Town Shark Tour Team


Contact for Extinction