13km swim to raise money for Shark Spotters

The Shark Spotters net crew will take on the shark smart swim challenge.

A 13km swim inside False Bay Beach’s shark-exclusion zone, on Saturday, will raise money for Shark Spotters.

Shark Spotters CEO Sarah Waries says each kilometre of the Shark Smart Swim represents one of the 13 common shark species found in False Bay, drawing attention to some of the lesser known, but equally important, sharks that live on our doorstep.

Leigh de Necker will be among the swimmers. She is a shark fanatic and the driving force behind this swim. An aquarist at the Two Oceans Aquarium, Ms De Necker is an avid runner and open-water swimmer.

She will be swimming the full 13km, which is approximately 45 lengths of the net by herself. You can sponsor Leigh at www.backabuddy.co.za/leigh-sharksmartswim.

The shark net crew will also participate in the event along with a few members of the coastal conservation crew. They will be swimming the 13km in relay, hoping to swim a kilometre each. You can sponsor them at at www.backabuddy.co.za/netcrew-sharksmartswim.

“Swimming inside the award-winning Fish Hoek shark exclusion net will highlight our ability to live alongside sharks, coexisting in the shared ocean space, rather than resorting to lethal methods to prevent human-shark interactions,” Ms Waries says.

The swim will start at 9am and there will be a #BeSharkSmart campaign on social media, in partnership with the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Education Centre, sharing facts about the secret lives of sharks, children’s activities and tips on how you can help protect sharks in the bay.

Leigh de Necker, who has completed several long-distance swims, will tackle the Shark Smart Swim on Satruday.

On the day of the swim there will be a pop-up education event on the beach, from 10am to 2pm, with some prizes to be won

All funds raised through sponsorships will be donated to Shark Spotters and used in their shark safety, education, research and conservation activities.

The Fish Hoek shark net has been around since 2014. It is deployed and retrieved daily to provide a shark-safe swimming area.

Ms Waries said: “We particularly appeal to everyone who uses the Fish Hoek shark exclusion net regularly to support the team who work hard, always smiling and laughing, to keep the community safe.”

For more about Shark Spotters, visit www.sharkspotters.org.za