Summer safety: 30 shark spotters to watch over Cape beaches

2016-10-03 09:50 - Ra-ees Moerat
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Cape Town - As the festive season is approaching, the City of Cape Town is making an effort to increase the safety for beach-goers over the summer season. Already, the Fish Hoek shark cut-off barrier has been deployed from Saturday October 1.

The Shark Spotters Programme will operate in eight beaches in Cape Town from Saturday 1 October to Monday 1 May 2017. 

A total of 30 shark spotters and 10 net crew members were employed to boost the safety on the beaches during the upcoming summer season.

Johan van der Merwe, Councillor, City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning said that, “The Fish Hoek shark exclusion net forms a complete barrier from the sea floor to the sea surface and prevents animals from entering the “exclusion zone” in the southern corner of Fish Hoek Bay. It is deployed and retrieved daily to minimise the risk of entangling marine animals and has been specifically designed to have minimal environmental impact.”

“We will do everything in our power to make this a safe summer season but we need beachgoers to help us and to be aware of the usual increase in in-shore shark activity over the summer months. Pay attention to shark signage when visiting beaches and always obey officials if instructed to leave the water,” he added.

The exclusion net will be in operation during the following periods over the summer season:

October 2016

Weekends, public holidays and school holidays

November 2016 to March 2017

Daily (weather permitting)

April 2017

Weekends, public holidays and school holidays:

On days that the exclusion net is deployed, the operating hours are between 09:00 and 17:00. The Shark Spotters will keep beach users informed about the deployment of the net via Twitter and Facebook.

The exclusion net will not be deployed if weather conditions (wind and swell) are deemed to be unsuitable. This will be assessed on a daily basis. If weather conditions deteriorate over the course of a day when the net is already deployed, the net may be removed as a precautionary measure. Additionally, if there is a high presence of whales/dolphins or fishing activity in the area, the net will not be deployed.

The Shark Spotters Information Centre, which is situated at Muizenberg Surfer’s Corner, is open to members of the public from 08:00 to 18:00 seven days a week. The centre provides up-to-date information on sharks and marine ecology, basic first-aid, general public assistance and emergencies, storage of valuables and lost property.

Shark Spotters will operate at the following beaches:


Summer (October 2016 to April 2017)


Monday – Sunday, 08:00 – 18:00

St James/Kalk Bay

Monday – Sunday, 08:00 – 18:00

Fish Hoek

Monday – Sunday, 07:00 – 18:45

Caves, Kogel Bay

Monday – Sunday, 08:00 – 18:00

Noordhoek (The Hoek)

Monday – Sunday, 08:00 – 18:00 (September to May)


Weekends, public holidays and school holidays
10:00 – 17:00


Weekends, public holidays and school holidays
08:00 – 18:00


Weekends, public holidays and school holidays
08:00 – 18:00

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