Port St Johns has experienced yet another shark attack, with the unfortunate victim succumbing to his horrific injuries. At this stage the species of shark responsible for the attack is unknown.
The attack follows on an increase in shark activity all along the South African coastline, with the Main Beach in Jeffreys Bay being closed for 4 days during December due to big sharks being spotted just behind the breakers.
A kayaker was attacker by a Great White Shark in Port Elizabeth, just off Noordhoek Beach during the holiday season as well.
St Francis Bay has also seen an increase in Great White activity with the beaches also being closed, according to the St Francis Chronicle
What is even more disturbing is evidence that chumming for sharks is taking place in St Francis Bay, which led the NSRI to issue a shark warning to residents. A Great White Shark of up to 5 m in length has also been spotted patrolling the coast in St Francis Bay
Could the increase in the number of Great White Sharks being spotted off out coast be linked to chumming? This is a highly conterversial topic but one that needs to be discussed to ensure the safety of the surfers and swimmers who use the ocean in our back garden.
The Kouga Municipality was highly pro-active when it became clear that there was a problem at Main Beach in peak holiday season. A shark spotting programme was introduced and jet skis were used as early warning systems. These measures appeared to have been successful.
Law enforcement agencies must stop illegal chumming in our waters with immediate effect. There is no proof yet that chumming does not attract sharks to an area and that sharks do not associate food with humans due to chumming.
After all, who goes to the Kruger National Park or Addo Elephant Park and drags a buck behind their car to attract lions?
Tourism is the driving force behind the local economy and we need to ensure that our beaches are as safe as reasonably possible.