A bigeyed sixgill shark (Hexanchus nakamurai) investigating the bait.

Dr Elodie Heyns-Veale, KZN Museum


At the end of November 2021, a group of scientists from around South Africa met on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal to determine the distribution of sharks and rays in and around the Protea Banks marine protected area. The survey forms part of the Shark and Ray Protection Project funded by the Shark Conservation Fund and WildTrust in collaboration with the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity.

The team getting ready to deploy a stereo-BRUVs.

Fish, sharks, rays, cephalopods and their habitats were surveyed by remote underwater stereo video systems (stereo-BRUVs), consisting of a stainless-steel frame that houses two video cameras and films the seabed through the attraction of bait.

A flapnose houndshark, Scylliogaleus quecketti, on the left and an Englishman, Chrysoblephus anglicus, on the right.

Additional information obtained from these video surveys will allow scientists from the KZN Museum Malacology Department to determine if cephalopods (e.g. octopus, squid and cuttlefish) are benefiting from the protection that marine protected areas provide.