A brief history
• Even though we may think we know all about this shark from media and film, the
Great White is actually quite a mysterious and compelling creature.
• There are many preconceived notions about the Great White, but here is what has
been gleaned about the life cycle of one of nature’s apex predators:
• They are found in waters all over the world, meaning they are adaptable to most
temperatures and can swim for great distances.
• They are solitary animals and normally don’t associate in pairs or packs.
• The mother gives birth to live young. After birth, the pups are left to survive on their
• The litter will be between 2-12 pups while the gestation period is between 12-18
• It reaches maturity at 15 years and can live for up to 30.
The Great White has acute
senses of smell and sound.
Using electro-reception, it
will decipher where the
prey is and whether it is
sick or injured. It will then
attack, weaken the prey
and swerve back again for
the kill. It also attacks from
below, hidden by the dark
of the deep.
A sad tale
• Once the Great White reaches
maturity, it roams the oceans and
mainly feeds on turtles, other fish,
seals and rays.
• However, the shark may more than
likely end up being caught by
humans for selfish purposes such as
shark fin soup, for their teeth to be
sold as curios and for their meat to
be sold on the black market.
• At this time, the Great White and
other sharks are endangered.
Human cruelty and misunderstanding
Humans are unaware that Great
Whites are not as much of a threat as
they are believed to be.
Here are a few things more dangerous
than Great White sharks:
• Traffic lights- responsible for 2,000
deaths every year in the US.
• Mosquitoes are responsible for more
than 800,000 deaths worldwide
• Raw meat kills 5,000 people in the
US every year.
Take action and understand
• The main reason sharks are endangered is
because there are not enough humans out
there educating themselves and others about
the importance of sharks.
• There are several ways you can educate
yourself and appreciate the Great White’s
place in our ocean’s eco-system.
• By reading books and articles, going on a
shark cage diving trip, watching
conservation programmes and working with
researchers and shark conservation
organisations, you can do your part to help
the Great White and other sharks worldwide.
Shark Diving Unlimited
• An organisation that cares deeply for shark
conservation and research is Shark Diving
Unlimited in Gansbaai, Western Cape.
• Headed up by Sharkman Mike Rutzen, SDU
runs a shark cage diving operation unparalleled
to any in the country. On a trip with SDU, you
won’t just witness the beautiful sight of sharsk
but your knowledge of these creatures will be
broadened by the expertise of the team.
• Mike Rutzen has been involved with sharks for
over 20 years. His qualifications stretch longer
than the average Great White; including being
dubbed “The Sharkman” for his ability to swim
with these magnificent animals, Mike is also
considered an expert in this field; his work has
been featured on TV programs worldwide with
Shark Diving Unlimited being the go-to
organisation for high-profile and celebrity
Book a shark cage diving trip with SDU and have
a day you will never forget.
Shark Diving Unlimited
Find out more about Shark Diving
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Learn more about sharks and the
dangers they face
Book a shark cage diving trip