Species: Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Total Length: 225-275cm
Unique Markings: Katherine is identifed by her dorsal fin, and in particular a small white circular pigmentation marking on its LHS leading edge. This pattern is near perminant and will allow us to ID Katherine for years to come
Location: Kleinbrak, Mossel bay, South Africa
The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), is a species of large mackerel shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. It is notable for its size, with larger female individuals growing to 6.1 m (20 ft) in length and 1,905–2,268 kg (4,200–5,000 lb) in weight at maturity. However, most are smaller. In Mossel Bay, the Shark Research Unit typically measures great white sharks between 200cm and 350cm total length. According to a 2014 study, the lifespan of great white sharks is estimated to be as long as 70 years or more, making it one of the longest lived cartilaginous fishes currently known. According to the same study, male great white sharks take 26 years to reach sexual maturity, while the females take 33 years to be ready to produce offspring.
The adoption fee for Katherine has been directed to the shark research programs conducted by the Shark Research Unit. Specifically we will be using the funds to partly fund a new video camera for our project documenting the mobbing behaviour of Cape fur seals on Great White Sharks at Robberg, Plettenberg Bay. In this project we are investigating the predator prey stratigies that both Cape fur seals and Greast white sharks use at this location. The interest is that these predator-prey games play out in very shallow water and can be routinely observed and filmed from above. The shallow nature of the water means different stratigies needs to be used by both sharks and seals to be successful.