Over the past decade a growing movement of conservationists have succeeded in stopping shark fishing and/or the trade in shark fins in certain parts of the world. South Africa, however, a country home to over 100 different species of sharks (excluding rays and skates), and a place considered a shark diving Mecca of the world, lags pathetically behind. Only the whale shark, basking shark and white shark are fully protected while all others are caught and killed. Shark fishing and illegal shark finning is rife in South Africa’s waters, and there are increasing reports that our own fishers are turning to finning as other fish stocks decline. In addition, our tiger sharks and other sharks are being killed by the KwaZulu Natal Sharks Board, and the protected white shark continues to be targeted by anglers. An inert government turns a blind eye.
But there are people who care and willing to go to extreme lengths and depths to help save our sharks: Supported by a dynamic team of concerned people, Trevor Hutton, a South African freediving champion and former world record holder, and Lesley Rochat, Executive Director of AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, have teamed up in this unique shark awareness campaign named Deep Freedive for Sharks. This high profile campaign centres on Trevor breaking a series of national freediving records in South African waters, which he will do in the first week of June 2012 off Durban coast. The dives will take place in the often-bloody waters of the shark slaughter carried out by both legal and illegal fishers, an area known as the pelagic zone, situated 20 miles off the South African coast. FIND OUT MORE