The Shark Research Unit dedicates time to raising awareness and knowledge in learners of all ages. Changing humans perceptions of sharks is the only hope to achieve a sustainable future for sharks and marine life. 


At the Shark Research Unit, our mission is to make a positive impact on the future of South Africa’s oceans by engaging directly with the next generation of leaders and influencers. We provide in-class and virtual education opportunities to learners residing in our two priority areas, Aliwal Shoal and Mossel Bay, and offer innovative outreach programs to partner schools.

Our primary focus is on learners from disadvantaged and impoverished areas who may not have the opportunity to experience the wonders of the ocean. Through our educational programs, we aim to inspire and empower these students to become advocates for shark conservation and ocean sustainability. We provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to create a more sustainable future for South Africa’s sharks and oceans. Our ultimate goal is to create a world where sharks and humans can coexist peacefully, and the ocean remains a thriving ecosystem for generations to come.


Travelling education drives:

We believe that education is key to promoting a better understanding of sharks and the ocean. Our educational trips to neighbouring schools are designed to provide an engaging and interactive syllabus on these fascinating creatures and their ecosystems. Our program offers a unique, hands-on learning experience with a variety of exciting activities, including puppet shows, touch displays, educational videos, and Q&A sessions.

Through these activities, students not only learn about the biology and behaviour of sharks, but also gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of conservation and sustainability. They learn about the impact of human activities on our oceans and the role we can all play in protecting these precious resources. Our aim is to inspire and educate the next generation of ocean stewards, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to become responsible and effective advocates for shark conservation and ocean sustainability.

Virtual lessons:

We provide partner schools with a unique opportunity for virtual, Zoom-based education on sharks and the oceans. Our team of experts engages with classrooms virtually, offering an interactive and immersive syllabus that includes fascinating shark videos, engaging educational presentations, and exciting competitions.

During our sessions, students have the chance to ask questions, participate in discussions, and learn from our team’s extensive knowledge and expertise in marine biology and ocean conservation. Our aim is to inspire students to develop a deeper appreciation for sharks and the ocean, while also promoting the importance of ocean conservation and sustainability.


At the Shark Research Unit, we believe that shark tourism can be a powerful tool for promoting shark conservation and education. That’s why we partner with leading shark tourism operators, such as White Shark Africa and Blue Wilderness Expeditions, to provide dedicated educational officers who work closely with guests to enhance their ecotourism experience.

Our educational officers are well educated in shark research, conservation, and ecology, and they bring cutting-edge knowledge and ideas to these expeditions. They engage with guests on a personal level, sharing their expertise and insights and fostering a deeper appreciation for sharks and their critical role in the marine ecosystem.

Through our collaboration with our shark tourism partners, guests can readily engage with scientific experts and walk away with a greater understanding of sharks and the importance of shark conservation. Our aim is to inspire and educate people to become advocates for these amazing creatures and to promote a sustainable future for our oceans.


Pre-dive Presentation.

We believe that responsible and respectful interaction with sharks is essential for both human safety and shark conservation. That’s why we offer a comprehensive pre-dive presentation that covers everything guests need to know about the sharks they will encounter, their behavior, and the best way to interact with them during the dive or adventure.

Our presentation is designed to give guests a deeper understanding of the sharks they will encounter, including their biology, behavior, and habitat. We also provide key features to look out for when interacting with sharks, as well as some important thoughts to consider, such as the need to maintain a safe distance and avoid touching or disturbing the animals.

Our aim is to promote responsible and respectful interactions with sharks that are safe for both humans and the animals themselves. By educating our guests on the best practices for shark interaction, we hope to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of these amazing creatures and to inspire people to become advocates for their conservation.

Q and A’s

We provide a dedicated education officer who works closely with guests on a cage diving operator, answering their questions and sharing their insights on the biology, behaviour, and conservation of sharks.

Our education officer is present throughout the activity and engages with clients informally, fostering a comfortable and interactive environment that encourages questions and discussion. To help prompt talking points and encourage engagement, we use short and entertaining posters that are presented on the activity boats. These posters cover a range of topics, from the basic biology of sharks to the importance of shark conservation.

By providing this level of engagement and education, we hope to inspire and inform our guests, fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of sharks and their role in the marine ecosystem. We believe that responsible and sustainable shark tourism requires not only safety and respect for the animals but also a commitment to education and conservation.”


The Surfer Kids was founded in 2010 in Mossel Bay, in the Southern Cape of South Africa and is a registered Non-Profit Organization (NPO) with registration number 136-987 NPO. The Surfer Kids aims at the empowerment of marginalized and impoverished youths through character building activities that teach commitment and dedication.

Each month the Shark Research Unit joins the surfer kids’ programs to assist in beach cleanups, offer shark education presentations, and spend time braaing (BBC’ing), eating and building relationships with the children of the Surfer Kids.


Beach cleanup. Our students, staff and interns join up with the kids from surfer kids to clean our local beaches on a twice monthly basis. For an award for contributing to the health of the Mossel Bay ocean health, the Shark Research Unit sponsors a massive braai (BBQ) after joining in on an afternoon of surfing with the talented kids from the program

Marine Education. Interns and students present new and entertaining monthly presentation on shark and marine conservation for the surfer kids. Building knowledge and awareness in our future generation of marine leaders. 


Join the Shark Research Unit as a research intern and live shark week every week! 


Do you want a passionate team of shark experts to visit your school and educate your learners? Connect with the Shark Research Unit



We partner with numerous local schools, clubs and conservancies as part of our ongoing outreach program. Our aim is to dispel myths about sharks and open peoples eyes to the wonders of the marine environment.

Future ocean ambassadors

The Shark Research Unit is dedicated to creating the next generation of ocean ambassadors. Through educational outreach programs, we assist in opening learners minds to the wonders of the marine world.

Is your dream to work with sharks?


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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