From the news desk

Another beached whale in Kommetjie

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Another dead humpback whale has been found near Kommetjie beach. Surfers are warned to stay away from the area in the proximity of a 9 metre beached humpback whale. The City of Cape Town says they have deployed Law Enforcement officers and a shark spotter to warn surfers not to surf near the carcass due to possible increased shark activity. The area is not a bather’s beach. The removal of the carcass will begin tomorrow. Surfers are warned to stay away from the area in the proximity of a 9 metre beached humpback whale near Kommetjie beach.

“The City is aware of the situation and we have deployed Law Enforcement officers and a shark spotter to warn surfers not to surf near the carcass due to possible increased shark activity. The area is not a bather’s beach. The removal of the carcass will begin tomorrow,” said City spokesperson Priya Reddy.

In the meantime, the beached whale in the Strand beach has been removed and the beach has been reopened. However, we are warning swimmers to be extra vigilant in this area as visibility is poor and traces of blood might still remain in the water.

Members of the public are encouraged to report any sightings of sharks to the Shark Spotters. Surfers are asked to be especially vigilant in the stretch between Sunrise and Macassar Beaches.  The Shark Spotters Information Centre at Muizenberg Surfer’s Corner is open to the public from 08:00 to 18:00, seven days a week.

For more information on the latest shark sightings and research, please visit www.sharkspotters.org.za or follow the Shark Spotters on Twitter (@SharkSpotters) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/SharkSpotters).

The City urges members of the public to familiarise themselves with the following general shark safety tips:
• Use beaches where Shark Spotters are on duty
• Take the time to speak to the Shark Spotters on the day you visit the beach
• Use the Shark Spotters signs to familiarise yourself with the four-flag warning system and warning siren
• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby
• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where trek-netting, fishing or spear fishing is taking place
• Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers
• Do not swim if you are bleeding
• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night
• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranding nearby
• Obey beach officials, lifeguards and Shark Spotters if told to leave the water
• Be aware that the rate of encounters with white sharks rises significantly when the water temperature is warmer (18ºC or higher) and during new moon, due to increased opportunities for feeding
• If a shark has recently been sighted in an area where no Shark Spotters are present, consider using another beach for the day
• First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguards or locals about the area
• For those persons kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea: please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation)

The Fish Hoek exclusion net is in operation until April 2016. On days that the exclusion net is deployed, the operating hours are between 09:00 and 17:00. The Shark Spotters will keep beach users informed about the deployment of the net via Twitter and Facebook, and signage is displayed when the net is deployed.

The exclusion net will not be deployed if weather conditions (wind and swell) are deemed to be unsuitable; this will be assessed on a daily basis. Additionally, if there is a high presence of whales or other marine mammals in the area, the net will not be deployed. VOC


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