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Free Captive Blacktip Reef Sharks

This project falls under SHARKLIFE Aim 1: To develop a compassionate desire to conserve sharks by altering public misconceptions about sharks and replacing the "Jaws" syndrome with positive understanding and respect. 

 blacktip reef sharks


Project Overview:

In November 2019 Sharklife was contacted by a concerned member of the public about two young female blacktip reef sharks being kept in a small tank at a sports bar in Durban.

Sharklife proceeded to engage with a number of organisations including Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, uShaka Sea World and the SPCA to investigate the matter.  Among other findings the most important aspect was the insufficient size of the tank.

Recommended tank size: a shark of this morphology and life history should have enough space for at least seven glide-lengths before being required to turn, i.e. 1m shark, should have 7m of space to glide unobstructed in a straight line. Furthermore, the opposite edges of the tank should be cylindrical to prevent unnecessary energy expenditure while turning. As for depth, these sharks should not kept in water less than 1.8m depth. Therefore, a 1m shark should have no less than a tank dimension of 8m x 8m x 1.8m (minimum). Alternatively, and more ideal, a 1m shark would require 10m diameter cylindrical tank with 1.8m depth (minimum).

Thanks to a collaborative effort by the authorities the bar has now willingly handed the animals to uShaka Sea World where they have suitable space, living conditions and the correct diet.

Thank you to all involved, especially the Sharklife members who enable us to continue looking out for sharks! 


 KZNWildNSPCA Logo JPuShaka logo   









Sharklife Ocean Center

Sodwana Bay, KwaZulu Natal
South Africa 3974

Email: info@sharklife.co.za
Ph/WhatsApp: +27 (0) 82 935 9427