White Shark cage diving permit in St. Francis Bay
27 July 2015
The Department of Environment Affairs has noted with concern the false allegations about a pending permit application for a white shark cage diving operation in Jeffrey’s Bay, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis region.
Firstly, it is important to note that currently Jeffrey’s Bay, St Francis Bay and the Cape St Francis region are not designated for white shark cage diving under the Regulations relating to the Management of White Shark Cage Diving. Current designated areas where white shark cage diving activity is permitted and allowed are:
- Seal Island, False Bay;
- Dyer Island, Gansbaai;
- Quoin Rock, Quoin Point;
- Seal Island, Mossel Bay; and
- Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth.
Secondly, permits for white shark cage diving are allocated every five (5) years from the date of the previous allocation. Thus, a fresh invitation for applications for white shark cage diving permits therefore only occurs every 5 years. Permits are allocated to any person who in response to an invitation placed in the government gazette, satisfies the criteria and objectives set out in the regulations and policy for the management of white shark cage diving. The current permits will only expire July 2016 and an invitation for interested parties to apply will be advertised in the current financial year.
To date the Department has not entertained any applications on an ad hoc basis. Allegations of the Department considering any applications and being in the process of allocating a permit in St Francis Bay or Jeffrey’s Bay are therefore false.
The Department would like to point out that sharks are highly migratory species occurring mostly on the continental slopes; with many also found in the South African coastal waters, periodically.
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