Who We Are
As a registered non-profit organisation, Sharklife addresses the alarming exploitation of both shark populations and ocean fisheries in South African waters. We actively engage the urgent need for research and protection of many marine species.
Company Registration No. 2005/002273/08
Non- Profit Organisation No. 064-326-NPO
Through scientific research, education and awareness bring about positive change in the current destructive trends of ocean exploitation.
SHARKLIFE Current Aims:
To develop a compassionate desire to conserve sharks by altering public misconceptions about sharks and replacing the "Jaws" syndrome with positive understanding and respect.
Reduce anthropogenic threats to over exploited marine species by increasing awareness and encouraging sustainable seafood choices.
Increase marine tourism and transform shark populations into a sustainable living resource by developing educational ocean experiences for all South African’s
SHARKLIFE Board of Directors:
- Grant Smith (Managing Director)
- Mike Fraser
- Fiona Ayerst
- Mike Wood
SHARKLIFE Scientific Advisory Board:
- Dr Malcom Smale
- Prof Vic Peddamors
- Dr Kerry Sink
- Dr Matt Dicken
- Dr Leonard Compagno
- Ryan Johnston PhD Candidate
SHARKLIFE Government Advisors:
- Herman Oosthuizen
- Craig Smith
Maintaining the Balance
The role of the “apex” or top predator in an ecosystem can not be underestimated. The depletion or removal of sharks is likely to destabilise marine ecosystems and effect prey species in ways that cannot currently be predicted.
Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.
Many marine experts believe that sharks are vital in maintaining marine
biodiversity and concern has been raised that some species may become extinct before their ecological role is
Maintaining Genetic Fitness
Predators by nature target the 'easiest to catch' prey speciemens. This invaribly results in sick and weaker fish being caught first. Through this process the weaker genes are removed from the pool, ultimately maintaining the overall genetic "fitness" of prey populations.
Sharks are Vulnerable
Sharks are typically slow growing creatures with low reproductive capacities. This means that high levels of unnatural mortalities can quickly push shark populations to the brink of collapse and ultimately extinction.
Globally an estimated 23-73 million sharks are finned each year. Shark finning is defined as the on-board removal of a sharks fins and the discarding of the carcass at sea. This process is as wasteful as slaughtering a rhino for its horn or an elephant for its tusks.
Shark finning is occurring uncontrolled in the majority of the worlds oceans. How can it be 73 million?
As apex predators, sharks are not designed for heavy predation, either by other marine species or by humans. Whether caught in directed fisheries or as bycatch, most shark species are unable to withstand protracted periods of heavy exploitation. Compounding the problem is the unsustainable industrial scale harvesting of millions of tons of fish from the oceans each year, ultimately impacting on shark populations further.
Bycatch is a term used to refer to any species which are caught accidentally while fishing for other “target” species. It is responsible for mortality in a wide range of species: non-target fish, seabirds, whales, dolphins, turtles and sharks. A great deal of bycatch is discarded at sea and never appears in the records. Where bycatch must be reported, it is often under-reported.
Why join Sharklife?
As a non-profit marine conservation organisation Sharklife strives to increase the level of protection and compassion for sharks.
Your membership donation enables Sharklife to continue its work on shark research, awareness and education projects.
How much is it?
For just R25.00
$3.06 US a month you can contribute to marine conservation.
What do I get?
You will receive a membership welcome pack and regular newsletter updates keeping you informed of our progress. Yes - Sign Me up!