Plett municipality to implement shark safety measures

Posted on 30 September 2022 By Anita Froneman

Authorities in Plettenberg Bay are working on a plan to implement safety measures to avoid shark encounters.

READ: Cape Town woman dies in shark encounter in Plettenberg Bay

‘The Bitou Municipality, Plett Tourism, NSRI Plett, the Institute of Great White Research and conservation specialists focused on ocean activities and ocean research, have been in conversations since May 2022 to put together a formalised Plett Shark Action Plan,’ the municipality said.

Plett municipality to implement shark safety measures

In addition to the 12 shark bite kits sponsored by NSRI that are already strategically placed along the main beaches in Plett, the groups are also engaged on several WhatsApp platforms that keep stakeholders informed of shark activity in the area.

The Action Plan approaches the issue through three stages. 

Stage 1: ‘Shark Smart’ signage, collateral and public awareness

  • Signage | Private funding was donated to assist the Bitou Municipality with signage that creates awareness and shark smart actions that are focused on potential sharks along the Plett coastline, both graphically and with text. The signage was approved in mid-September and is currently in the process of being printed. Those signs will be erected by the Bitou Municipality ASAP.
  • Collateral | Plett Tourism is assisting the Bitou Municipality with DL fliers as per the ‘Shark Smart’ signage content. These fliers will be distributed to the home rental agencies, hotels, guest houses, lodges and B&Bs late October.

Stage 2: Shark deterrent measures

  • The Bitou Municipality approved the research for shark deterrent options on 31 May. The research will take approximately 18 months +/- before it can be determined if shark deterrent structures are a viable option for the Plett coastline.

READ: The big question after Plett’s fatal shark attack: Why?

Stage 3: Shark spotting

  • The Bitou Municipality approved additional lifeguards on the main beaches of Plett during high-season times and popular public holidays. Additional lifeguards will commence on 1  October.
  • The Bitou Municipality has identified two potential physical locations for employed Shark Spotters at the Lookout Beach and Robberg Beach areas with raised vantage points. The appointment of physical shark spotters TBC.
  • The Plett Shark Action Group is currently investigating the costs of two drones, stationary cameras, specialised water-monitoring software and the appointment of specialised monitors who will analyze shark activity and notify proper authorities for beach closures.

Picture: Unsplash

ALSO READ: Minister proposes chumming during shark cage diving closer to shore

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