If you have high quality photographs of white shark dorsal fins, and would like to contribute to our photographic identification database, please connect! 


The Shark Research Unit believes in open-source data. If you offer a unique project that requires utilisation of South Africa’s great white shark photo identification database, please connect with us here. 

What is South Africa's white shark photo identification database?

The Shark Research Unit conducts daily expeditions to photograph and identifiy great white sharks in South Africa. We utilise multiple identifing characteristics includiong the dorsal fin notch pattern, pigmentation patterns on the caudel fin, as well as conspcious scars and markings on individual sharks. This data is the corner stone of our on going population assessments and dynamics studies on great white sharks in South Africa.

Nico Booyans

Principle Scientist - Nico Booyens


The Shark Research Unit is a shark and marine research and conservation institute driven by a passionate team of shark experts. We are located in South Africa and work in two regions of priority – Aliwal Shoal and Mossel Bay. 

Our core purpose is to conduct and support original shark research, conservation and education programs through strategic partnerships with marine scientists, postgraduate students, ecotourism operators and academic institutes. 

Our focus extends to nurturing a new generation (of all ages) of shark scientists, professionals and enthusiasts. We achieve this through our great white shark research internship, learner outreach programs and expert guided shark edu-tours  



  • 182 Aalwyn Way
  • Aalwyndal
  • Mossel Bay 6520
  • South Africa


  • 34 Egerton Rd
  • Freeland Park
  • Schottburgh 4180
  • South Africa

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