27 May, 2014 27 May, 2014

Paddle Out for Sharks to celebrate World Oceans Day (8 June)

In 2012 a group of concerned KZN locals hosted the first Paddle Out For Sharks. It was an attempt to bring the public’s attention to the plight of sharks and other marine life that are being trapped in the shark nets deployed along the coast.

It’s true that the shark nets catch not only sharks (the reason for their deployment), but dolphins, turtles and other marine life are also removed from these nets – mostly dead, but sometimes alive.

Concerned KZN locals paddled out at Scottburgh in 2012.

If you’d like to be a part of this year’s paddle out (planned for 8 June to celebrate World Oceans Day), then check out the details in the press release below.




PRESS RELEASE – 26 May 2014 – We are excited to invite you to participate in The Paddle Out for Sharks 2014 planned for World Oceans Day – Sunday 8th June. World Oceans Day is an international event and people around the planet celebrate and honor the world’s oceans. Find out more at www.worldoceansday.org.

This year the Paddle Out for Sharks will be held in multiple venues, hosted by the communities in those venues. Shark and ocean conservationists all over South Africa and are pleased to announce that Paddle Out for Sharks events will be held in: Umkomaas/Scottburgh, Shelley Beach, Port Alfred, Port St Johns, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Hermanus, Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique, Cape Town, Durban, Knysna, Australia and the Seychelles.

The Paddle out for Sharks was established in 2012 as a community platform and annual event, to bring attention to the plight of sharks and other marine life caught in the KwaZulu-Natal shark nets. Our message is a collective stance for the better management of shark nets, and improved legislation for the protection of sharks. We want to change the way that people think about sharks, and challenge the discourses around sharks. Fundamental to our movement, is our connection with the ocean – this is why we Paddle Out. Thus it is fitting that we come together on each World Oceans Day.


The first Paddle Out, held in May 2012 marked a very successful awareness event where we drew attention to the KZN shark nets. Over 100 people gathered on dive boats, jet skis and surfboards at the shark nets off Scottburgh. This community then engaged the KZN Sharks Board and the UmDoni Municipality to collectively work on solutions to better management of the shark nets which resulted in the nets being lifted at Rocky Bay in KZN and the group continues to consider how to encourage better management of the nets at other locations.

On 8th June 2013 more than 130 conservationists, divers, surfers, scientists, anglers and paddlers celebrated World Oceans Day 2013 by paddling out to the shark nets at Scottburgh to highlight the lack of management of sharks as a species and resource in South Africa and to collectively call for an improvement in shark management in South Africa. Members of the public who share their vision joined them on the beach. Sister events were held at Port St Johns and Shelly Beach. The event was motivated to highlight the plight of sharks, in response to commercial shark fishing in South Africa and Mozambique and to take a stand against shark-hating discourses.


Please join us in 2014 as we continue to bring attention to this issue.

Note the following details for the day:

Scottburgh/Aliwal Shoal event:
We will meet at launch sites in Umkomaas at 7:30, and aim to be at the nets at Scottburgh at 8am, where we will meet the dive charters that launch from Scottburgh. Dive operations involved: Agulhas House, Aliwal Shoal Adventures, Scuba Xcursions, Diving in Africa, Umkomaas Lodge, The Shoal, Blue Wildnerness

All other locations:
Please refer to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/paddleout4sharks?fref=ts  for info, and follow us on Twitter: @PaddleOut4Shark or email amanda.barratt@gmail.com for information.

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