The Dyer Island area in which we operate is a very interesting environment.

Various aspects of White Sharks have been researched here for more than 25 years.

We actively participate in an ongoing ” Fin ID” project, as well as keeping a very accurate record of White Shark sightings. This is field data which we collect for researchers.


The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has been deploying nets and baited hooks (drum lines) at 37 popular beaches along the South African coastline since 1950. This shark-cull effort has been carried under the guise of protecting swimmers and surfers, despite these not providing a continuous enclosure from sharks. The principle behind this system is “the more sharks are killed, the less the chances of having a shark-human encounter”. Unfortunately, this had a drastic impact on marine life, specifically white sharks, during the last 70 years.

The nets and drum lines kill on average between 12 and 30 White Sharks per annum, as well as many other types of sharks, dolphins, turtles, and even whales. Finding a “friendlier” way to protect beach users from sharks is of paramount importance, and the team of researchers at SharkSafe Barrier Pty has been working to develop such a system since 2008. The SharkSafe BarrierTM successfully bio-mimics the visual effects of a kelp forest, and combines this with a series of permanent magnetic stimuli, to form a barrier that dissuades sharks from passing through. The SharkSafe BarrierTM is the first effective shark-specific and eco-friendly technology to protect humans from sharks without harming marine life.

We regard this system as the most significant conservation measure for White Sharks along the South African coastline today. Our JP Botha has been part of the SharkSafe Barrier testing team since 2012 and we have been proudly supporting the SharkSafe BarrierTM system ever since.


The notches on the rare edge of a white shark’s dorsal fin is not dissimilar to a human fingerprint. By taking a clear photograph from the right angle, the notches on a dorsal fin can be used to identify an individual White Shark.

The lead researcher we collaborate with is Dr. Sara Andreotti, a lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. Initially, Dr. Andreotti used a manual matching system developed by Mike Rutzen to attribute a numerical barcode to each of the sharks, based on the number of notches. Following the analyses of approximately 5000 photo-id images by hand, she developed with colleagues from the Applied Mathematics Department of the University of Stellenbosch a very accurate computerised fin id program called Identifin.

This new software helps them to accurately count the White Sharks in our water, and because of this we have a good idea of how many White Sharks there are, and from Dr. Andreotti’s genetic work we are gaining insights into the population as a whole.


Geyser rock at Dyer Island is home to approximately 50 000 seals. This is one of the reasons why the channel between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island is called “shark alley”.

Huge kelp (Eklonia maxima) “fields” grow in the water around Dyer Island. We are investigating undertaking a long-term mapping project where we look at how the kelp fields are changing, where it’s changing, and what is on the ocean floor in these kelp fields.

The theory is that the Cape Fur seal uses kelp as protection from the White Sharks. Changes in the kelp density have affected the movement and hunting strategies of White Sharks around this unique ecosystem.

Cape Fur Seals on Geyser Rock and swimming in Shark Alley.