Volunteer in South Africa and meet one of the ocean’s greatest predators up close. This Great White Shark Research and Conservation Project is an experience of a lifetime, full of thrills, adventure and wonder.
African Impact and its partners are dedicated to the exploration and conservation of the ocean’s greatest predator, the Great White Shark, and its environment. This volunteer project works with students, eco-tourists, scientists and conservation organizations to gather data, correct negative misconceptions about sharks, and stop the needless slaughter of over 100 million sharks annually.
The expeditions mean getting up early, working during long days at sea, and then relaxing with the crew or other volunteers at night. Finding the Great White Shark is a skill, involving years of practice - the water temperature, depth, visibility, swell height, current and wind direction are all major factors.
In Shark Alley, you will be likely to see seals, penguins and the occasional dolphins, as well as southern right whales coming up from Antarctica to breed from May to November.
CAGE DIVING WITH GREAT WHITE SHARKS
Once anchored in the channel, the project makes use of a specially designed, secure floating steel cage, with divers no more than 1m below the surface. You will be taught how to get in and out of the cage and how to remain secure inside. You will be responsible for recording observations on the Great Whites, including sex, size, markings and behaviour.
The duration of each dive depends on the diver, the number of eco-tourists and the activity of the sharks, but could be up to half an hour per dive.
WHITE SHARK FIELD RESEARCH DATA COLLECTION
You will be taught how to collect data in the field on free-swimming sharks. At sea, you'll be focused on working with the sharks from above and below the water, observing behaviour and the interactions of sharks around the boat.
As part of the volunteering project you will be taught basic skills including boat handling and general maintenance. In addition, talks and videos may be given in the evenings or off-sea days on Great White Shark biology, research, behaviour, conservation, changing attitudes, attacks, basic seamanship, underwater filming, still photography and shark tourism.
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