Learn about shark conservation at Mensa meeting

Dr Sara Andreotti

Mike Rutzen and Dr Sara Andreotti are Mensa Winelands’ guest speakers at its monthly meeting, on Thursday August 18, at 7.15pm, where they will share their views on responsible shark management, marine conservation and the threats to the ocean, as well as the findings of their recent six-year study on the imminent extinction of the great white shark.

Mike is a conservationist, nature documentary maker and great white shark behaviourist, who has spent more time free-diving with great white sharks than any other person, and is one of only three people able to read and respond to great white shark behaviour.

He has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed scientific articles in local and international scientific journals, and has given numerous presentations at international conferences and scientific meetings.

He recently undertook the largest ever scientific field research project on great whites ever conducted around the South African coastline, with Sara – which established there are only between 353 and 522 sharks left in South African waters. Sara, who is a marine and molecular biologist currently enrolled as a post-doctoral re-searcher at Stellenbosch University, will be co-presenting at the talk.

Mike devotes the profits from his business, Shark Diving Unlimited, to great white shark conservation and is one of the co-inventors of the “Sharksafe” barrier which he hopes is the eco-friendly solution to preventing negative encounters between sharks and people.

He educates the public on great white shark conservation through educational nature documentaries and expeditions, which have taken him to some of the most inhospitable, remote places in the world.

Entry is free and members of the public are welcome. For more information about Mensa, email wnl.secretary@mensa. org.za, or send a WhatsApp/SMS to 083 462 9585.