The White Shark Trust Field Research Assistantship is proud to introduce you to our assistants:

Benjamin WESTROPE (Wilmington, North Carolina, USA), Alex RILEY (Nottingham, England) and Giacomo PALAVICINI DE WITTE from Mexico.

On Sunday the 9th of May 2004, we went to sea on Lamnidae... Flat day with a strong SEsterly wind at first... the wind died down in the afternoon, but the clouds made it a rather dark day... We observed ten different White Sharks! One Shark even breached on the bait, the whole body flew out of the water... that was AMAZING (sorry no pictures), especially since we had not seen any Sharks for 15 minutes...
On Tuesday the 11th of May 2004, we welcomed Ramon Bonfil, Shannon O'Brien, Barbara Mangold (Veterinerian), and Heather (Photographer) from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to Gansbaai.

The fourth satellite tagging expedition in two years is about to start. The project is a joint collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Marine and Coastal Management (MCM).

The MCM research vessel FRS Sardinops is leaving Cape Town today to reach Mossel Bay on Thursday morning, where the first leg of the expedition will take place.

Ramon, Shannon, Barbara and Heather were invited by Shark Diving Unlimited on board Barracuda, while myself, Ben, Alex and Giacomo spent the day on Lamnidae. Unfortunately, this was the worst Shark day in over two month with only two or three White Sharks observed. We desperately need a winter storm to warm the water... But it was a nice day at sea altogether...
In the evening, we celebrated with a delicious Yellowtail braai with the usual beer bread and a LOT of fun (and a lot of additional beer not included in the bread)... It was shame the today the Sharks did not want to play since it was Shannon and Heather's first encounter with the White Sharks... but they will see many more Sharks during the next three weeks! Andy joined the party also and enterained us with his guitar...
The FRS Sardinops (photograph below) is sailing from Cape Town to Mossel Bay, leaving Cape Town in the morning of the 11th of May. She will then first anchor in False Bay where the team will deploy some mooring blocks around Seal Island for electronic receivers that record the tagged Sharks' activities... The FRS Sardinops will then leave on Wednesday afternoon to reach Mossel Bay on Thursday morning where the joint WCS and MCM team will attempt to attach real-time SPOT satellite transmitters on White Sharks. The FRS Sardinops will then move back towards Cape Town through De Hoop, Struisbaai and Gansbaai depending on the number of White Sharks the team is able to find in the different areas...

Ben Westrope was invited by Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) to join the research team on board the FRS Sardinops to help with the satellite tagging expedition. Ben will leave Gansbaai on Wednesday afternoon or Thurday morning to drive to Mossel Bay, around 350kms East of Gansbaai. He will be staying with the research team until the 25th of May, at which time he will come back to Gansbaai since his girlfriend, Nikki, is coming to visit him from the USA on the 26th...