South African White Shark Research Institute

The history of the project includes an extensive tagging program from 1990 to 1998, tissue sampling for genetic analysis, blood extraction for hormonal analysis.

Currently, the project includes data on environmental parameters, recording of individual markings, sex, size estimation and individual behaviour at the boat. Although the project still conducts extensive data collection, great emphasis is placed on education and conservation programs.

SPECIES:Great White Shark - Carcharodon carcharias.

HABITAT: South Atlantic Marine, Coastal and Island area.

GEOGRAFIC LOCATION: Dyer Island & Geyser Rock, four miles offshore of Gansbaai, Western Cape, South Africa.

TRAVEL INFORMATION: By airplane to Cape Town, then transport to Gansbaai (190 km, close to Dyer Island) is organised by WSP.

DURATION: 14 days. Volunteers for longer durations are considered after they have completed the 14 day programme.

PERIOD: Year round.

AGE: Min. 18.

QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS: Priority is given to applicants who are students of marine biology, filming arts and who are interested in a career in marine tourism. Anyone can apply, all applications are taken on merit.

VOLUNTEERS WORK: Field data collection work of free swimming white sharks, recording environmental conditions and white shark activity. Work also includes hands on boat work, on-shore work, cage diving, lectures and working with tourists.

LANGUAGE: English.

ACCOMMODATION: Students will stay at the WSP lodge in Kleinbaai. Student rooms are comfortable and meals are excellent.

COST: $1500 for 14 days. This includes accommodation, meals, lectures, field work, cage diving and transport from and to Cape Town.

LONG TERM: In general is available only to volunteers who have completed the 14 day program, but all applications for longer terms are considered. The term is a minimum of one month and the cost is $500 per month.

AGENTS, CORRESPONDENTS: Contact directly the project.

APPLICATION: An application form will be sent upon request.

NOTES: The 14 day program is structured to provide students with an opportunity to work on the ocean with great white sharks under the guidance of some of the most experienced white shark people in the world. The students will have the opportunity of learning from the WSP staff, in aspects ranging from working with free swimming white sharks, to shark tourism, data collection, cage diving, photography and seamanship. The program works on a team effort and although fun and relaxed, the participants are able to learn a great deal of practical knowledge. The 14 days is intensive, with only one day allowed for personal recreation.

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