In September 2002, the White Shark Trust welcomed four Field Research Assistants:
Laura Jane POOLE from Aberdeen (Scotland), Helen Sarah FINDLEY from Southampton (England), Alasdair HARRIS from Edinburgh (Scotland) and Camille MELLIN from Thiverval Grignon (France).

Camille Mellin's thoughts about her stay with the White Shark Trust...

On Sunday the 15th of September, the sea and wind conditions were not great, so we decided to go on an excursion to De Hoop Nature Reserve and Cape Agulhas, Southernmost point of the African continent...
Al had to challenge an Austrich! Well when the audience consists of three girls, men will go beyond their natural and normal courage, and show off by challenging another bird...

Below, Al demonstates a new technique to approach wildlife: immitate them - in this case, he immitates herbivores, who seem perplexed by his agile demonstration...

De Hoop Nature Reserve

Amazing sand dunes

Great Whale watching

Wonderful Fynbos vegetation

A couple of African Black Oystercatchers were also observed on the beach, while Al, Camille and Hellen took a nice refreshing "bath"...

Al also discovered what "proved" (according to his own expertise) to be a focilized whale bone...

Cape Agulhas

Southernmost Point

of the African continent

Monday the 16th of September turned out to be a fantastic day! Great sharks (nine sharks in total), of which two were less than two meters...

Shark Diving Unlimited lent us their shark cage, and Camille, Al and Hellen had a great time in the cage! Unfortunately, Laura and Pippa were not as lucky as the sharks disappeared in the afternoon...

What Camille MELLIN had to say about her experience as a White Shark Trust Field Research Assistant...

What could I say about working as a field research assistant at the White Shark Tust ? It was definitely a great experience, and I’m glad to tell you about this… On the one hand, the Great White Shark is a wonderful animal, which was really impressive to discover on field. Thorough, sensitive, tricky... In addition to its developped biology, the White Shark has a very interresant behaviour.

On the other hand, assistantship is a great way to discover field research : the methods, the data recording, the photos, bait handling (even rincing the boat)… All these tasks are interesting and need habits and precision. And Holbaai is such a beautiful place to work in…

Moreover, yes, Michael is a nice guy (I promise you, he did not force me to say that)… All the people I met there were so nice as well, the atmosphere was very good . I hope we’ll keep in touch.

For all these reasons I enjoyed my trip in South Africa, working with the White Shark Trust, and I wish I would be able to come back soon. If once you have the opportunity to assist this project, do not hesitate.. And if you still hesitate, go and see the photos (and the smiles on our faces) during september 2002…