Great Whites Are Disappearing in Cape Town, the Former Shark Capital of the World

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The Cape Peninsula dangles off the bottom of Africa like a rough fishhook, curling round from the frigid waters of the Atlantic Coast into the broad expanse of False Bay.

This island-like geography has created a plethora of waves, from spitting beach breaks and big-wave reefs to the beginners’ paradise of Muizenberg. Despite the abundance of setups, the peninsula is far more famous for its other marine attractions.

Since the early 2000s, False Bay has become a world-renowned location for cage diving with great white sharks or to witness the spectacular breaching phenomenon—where these sharks launch themselves into the air while hunting seals. Less spectacular is encountering one of these leviathans while surfing, which also became a far more common occurrence at the turn of the millennium.

Between 2010 and 2016, there were 205 great white shark…

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