|Town/Region||Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area|
|Date||20 May 2016|
This study will record and analyse recreational diver numbers and their behaviour to test possible influences on the aggregational behaviour of Carcharias taurus or ragged tooth sharks. Carcharius taurus is enlisted as vulnerable (IUCN red list) throughout the world. This study follows on from a study done in Australia and also incorporates aspects of citizen science. The results can be used to compare between the two countries shark populations, and may be used to generate informed regulations governing diver numbers per group and diver behaviours when interacting with raggies in known congregation areas which will ultimately contribute towards protection of the species.
The results of the study will be used to encourage the best diving practices for recreational SCUBA divers using the MPA, thereby contributing to the conservation of C.taurus and its habitat in South Africa. The recreational diving sector is growing, particularly on the east coast, and therefore increases human shark interactions on C.taurus, found at the common diving site. Given that the study will be done within a MPA, an appropriate and effective code of conduct is needed to minimise the influence of recreational diving.
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