York High pupils dive into shark education

Event: Great White Shark educational cage dive – meet Wednesday, 20th June, 3pm, White Shark Africa office, Prince Vincent Building, Corner of Church/Bland Street, Shop 22, Mossel Bay.

White Shark Africa, a Great White Shark cage diving operation based in Mossel Bay, are running an exclusive trip on Wednesday, 20th June at 3pm for the Yap Yap Club – a group of York High students that are passionate about animals and whose aim is to educate themselves and others about animal care and animal rights.

White SharkAfrica’s internship program, called Shark Warriors, run a community education project, which sees them visiting local schools and presenting to youths the facts about sharks and the threats that they currently face. The kids all agree that the talk helps them get a better understanding of these vulnerable and misunderstood animals, and an appreciation of how sharks keep the ocean’s ecosystems in check to ensure the good health of the ocean for future generations.

After theYorkHigh Schoolpresentation, Hayley Kayser, a teacher at the school and leader of the Yap Yap Club, launched a shark awareness campaign. Prizes of a place on this exclusive cage diving trip were offered to the pupils who came up with the best initiatives for raising awareness.

The Great White Shark has survived an array of disasters during the last few million years, including several ice ages, which saw the extinction of many animals. Yet it is unlikely to survive its biggest threat to date… us. Some shark specialists believe they could be wiped out within the next decade. With the alarming decline in their numbers, this exclusive trip for Yap Yap Club members to see the sharks may very well be the student’s last chance to see these incredible creatures without having to visit a museum.

Despite their ferocious portrayal, the Great White Shark is a sociable character, often gentle and inquisitive, and even playful at times. It can be difficult for many to appreciate this without seeing it for themselves. Sharks contribute massively to our ecosystems and with their deteriorating numbers we will see a direct impact to the entire planet. These top predators keep the marine ecosystems in balance with the prey they eat and if it is not held in check, the food source for several species of marine life disappears including microorganisms, which are essential for sustaining life.

The White SharkAfrica- Shark Warriors program is a Great White Shark research, ecotourism, naturalist and internship project operating inMossel Bay,South Africaand offering a hands on approach to training not only with Great White Sharks, but also other species of sharks in the area. The ultimate goals of the program are education, public awareness, the advance of shark science, and the conservation of all shark species.

Great White Shark photos and videos available upon request.

Interviewees available:

  • Esther Jacobs, Program Manager of White SharkAfrica- Shark Warriors.
  • ChristoKruger, Director of White Shark Africa (Cage Diving company).
  • Hayley Kayser, Teacher, York High and Animal Club Leader.
  • If any journalists are interested in joining the cage diving trip, please get in touch in advance as spaces on the boat are limited.
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