With the upcoming beach season on our doorstep, the City of Cape Town is excited to announce the launch of the Shark Spotters mobile app – an innovative app to assist swimmers and surfers to be more shark smart at Cape Town’s beaches this summer.
The Shark Spotters app is unique mobile application which conveniently provides water users with current and accurate shark safety information on their smartphones so they can make informed decisions about shark risks, even before arriving at the beach. The app gives users access to real-time information, allowing the Shark Spotters to render a more efficient and effective service to the community.
‘We believe the Shark Spotters app will be an essential beach safety and information tool for all water users in Cape Town during the upcoming beach season. This app will provide keen surfers and swimmers with specific information about their favourite beach spots even before they travel to them,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.
The Shark Spotters app provides water users with all the latest shark safety information at City beaches, including which flag is currently flying and why. The flags fly for various reasons, including:
- poor spotting conditions due to cloud cover
- shark sightings
- an indication of water temperature
- the lunar phase
- an indication of whether the shark exclusion barrier in Fish Hoek has been deployed or not
The app is updated by the Shark Spotters on duty in real time so users can be assured that they always have the most current information at their fingertips to help them make a personal assessment about shark risks when entering the water.
Beachgoers will appreciate the app for all of the other information of interest which it offers including the weather conditions, marine animal activity in the area (such as whales, seals, dolphins, sunfish etc.), the details of amenities on the beaches, as well as short surf videos of isolated surf spots covered by the programme that do not have live web-cams in operation.
Furthermore, the app includes safety tips to reduce the risk of encountering a shark and information about shark activity in Cape Town.
‘We are very grateful to all individuals and organisations who contributed to making the app a reality and are very excited to be able to be a key partner in this initiative which offers such a valuable service to the community. Shark Spotters is an invaluable partner doing some great work and we are proud to be affiliated with this non-profit organisation,’ said Councillor Van der Merwe.
The Shark Spotters app is available on iOS and Android platforms and is free to download. For more information, residents should please contact Sarah Waries, the Shark Spotter Project Manager, on 078 174 4244.