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Mossel Bay Shark Encounter

Corey Wilson


Behind the Shot

Mossel Bay sits just east of the southern tip of South Africa, and is named in honor of the oysters and mussels found natively in the bay waters. Mossel Bay features excellent surfing in addition to other tourist-friendly activities. For more adventurous visitors, there are the famous shark encounters. At one time, South Africa, particularly the Cape Peninsula, was called the “Shark Capital of the World,” but due to overfishing and loss of food sources, the sharks are not nearly as plentiful as they once were. To correct this, the great whites are considered endangered and are protected against fishing, and it’s illegal to kill great whites or sell any of their parts.

Corey recalls the day he agreed to be locked in a cage and lowered into the usually shark-filled waters off nearby Seal Island. “I had my camera out and was waiting for one to come by. The water was so murky that you couldn’t see anything. You couldn’t see inches in front of your face. Then, when I least expected it, the shark came out of the murkiness, mouth fully open.

“At first we didn’t have any shark visitors, but the crew chummed the water, and we waited. Then they chummed the water some more, and we continued to wait. I think they overdid it, though, because the water was filled with chum at this point, and it was difficult to see.

“Once the sharks appeared, they were close up and active. There was no opportunity to enjoy them from a distance.”