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The Shark Smart Swim Image

The Shark Smart Swim

When you think of sharks in False Bay, most people automatically think of the iconic great white, without doubt the most recognisable shark in the world. But did you know that more than 20 different shark species have been seen in False Bay? Of these, 13 species are commonly found here, and they will be the focus of this exciting event!

On 27 March 2020, a group of enthusiastic swimmers will jump into the Fish Hoek shark exclusion net and swim 13 km inside the exclusion zone, to raise awareness about our amazing shark diversity and raise funds for Shark Spotter’s shark safety and conservation activities.

Each kilometer will represent one of the 13 common shark species found in False Bay, drawing attention to some of the lesser known, but equally important, sharks that live right on our doorstep. Swimming inside the award-winning Fish Hoek shark exclusion net will highlight our ability to live alongside sharks, coexisting in the shared ocean space, rather than resorting to lethal methods to prevent human-shark interactions.

In the lead up to the event we will be running a #BeSharkSmart campaign on social media, in partnership with the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Education Centre, sharing fascinating facts and insights into the secret lives of these sharks, activities to get the kids interested and involved, as well as tips on how you can help protect sharks in our bay.

On the day of the swim we will be hosting a pop-up education event on the beach, welcoming families to come and learn about sharks in interactive and engaging activities, and win a few prizes too!


Aside from following our social media campaign and learning more about sharks, you can contribute directly to their conservation by sponsoring the swimmers to complete the swim!

All funds raised through sponsorships will be donated to Shark Spotters and used in their shark safety, education, research and conservation activities. For more about what Shark Spotters does see:


LEIGH DE NECKER: Leigh is a shark fanatic and the driving force behind this swim! She works as an aquarist at the Two Oceans Aquarium and is an avid runner and open water swimmer.

She is also a past MSc student at Shark Spotters, completing her thesis on the trophic dynamics of the broadnose sevengill shark.

Leigh has completed a number of long-distance swims recently, including multiple Robben Island crossings. She will be swimming the full 13km (+/-45 lengths of the net) by herself!

It will be an amazing achievement and she definitely deserves everyone’s support! You can sponsor Leigh here:

SHARK NET CREW: These are the happy bunch of guys that put the Fish Hoek shark exclusion barrier in the sea every day during the spring/summer months! A few of our Coastal Conservation crew will be joining them, as well as our field managers.

These guys took part in some intensive swim training at Fish Hoek High School during the latest Coronavirus lockdown and so are eager to put their newfound skills and fitness to the test with this swim! They will be swimming the 13km in relay, hoping to swim a kilometre each.

The funds raised from the Shark Smart swim will be used directly to support the shark net crew, covering wages and equipment, so please support them! You can sponsor them here:

Group Statistics

Donations to date

R 46 821.78

Fundraising target

R 100 000.00