On 7 December 2013, ‘shark hybrids’ glided through a crowd of about 3,500 astonished beach-goers in Cape Town, South Africa. The elaborately painted ‘whale shark’ and ‘leopard shark’ were the emissaries of the Save Our Seas Foundation’s #goodsharkkarma awareness campaign, and they moved across the beach handing out shark-fact fortune cookies and engaging in constructive conversations about sharks. Along South Africa’s coastline, the perception of sharks centres mostly on great whites and shark attacks. The campaign aimed to broaden this view by educating people about some of the elasmobranch family’s most fascinating attributes and thus inspire a more balanced public image.
Clifton Beach Night is the flagship event of the Wavescape Surf Film Festival and is attended by surfers and their families from across Cape Town. The SOSF team was assisted by volunteers who surf some of Cape Town’s sharkiest beaches. The foundation will continue to spread #goodsharkkarma in the summer of 2014.