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Great White Shark Reference - GWS003

Photo identification of great white sharks is the most powerful means at identifying individuals over time. The Shark Research Unit utilizes a number of morphological markers to identify great white sharks. This includes the notch pattern on the dorsal fin, conspicuous scars and other markings on the body, and the unique pigmentation patterns that white sharks have between their dark dorsal surface and white under belly. Overtime, we build up full identification catalogs of each shark.

Support our Research

Research Internship

The Shark Research Units white shark research program is made possible by the work and contribution of our research interns. Our interns are central to the daily collection of photo identification data including the topside dorsal fin photographs, as well as, the underwater pigmentation patterns. Both critical for identification of an individual white shark.

Sponsor through Adoption

The Shark Research Units research is made possible through our shark adoption program. This is a fun way in which you can adopt and name a great white shark whilst supporting our research effort through providing much needed funding. Take time to consider supporting our research and adopt your own great white shark today!

Contribute Data

The Shark Research Unit welcomes data from citizen scientists and researchers in the form of photographic identification of white sharks. If you are interested in contributing to South Africa’s great white shark photographic identification database, please ensure you collect critical metadata including location, time, date and then connect with us.

Utilise data

The Shark Research Units welcomes all meaningful collaborations and offers data for projects that benefit sharks and the academic development of Africa’s scientists and students. If you would like access our full database (including sighting metadata) for a research project, please connect with us.

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