WATCH: Fearless woman does extreme shark dive

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Sharks are both a tourist attraction and a deterrent in South Africa. While SA is said to be home to the deadliest beach in the world, it is also seen as a Great White viewing utopia.

Certain species of shark are actually endangered due to overfishing and contentious drum-lines put up for our safety – but getting up close and personal with this supposed rogues of the ocean in a controlled environment utterly blows your mind.

As free diver Lesley Rochat knows only too well. She has been swimming with sharks for more than 15 years and in her latest campaign to conserve these fascinating creatures, she goes in for the kill – hook, line and sinker.

Rochat gets just inches away from a shiver of tiger sharks. Pretty much the stuff of nightmares for most, but the avid free diver describes it as her ultimate joy.

In this campaign, ‘Get Hooked on Conservation, Ban Drumlines’, the culling of sharks using drum lines in Western Australia and South Africa is put into the spotlight.

In case you didn’t know – A drum-line consists of a floating drum with two lines attached to it. One line is joined to an anchor on the sea bed, while the other attached to a large baited shark hook dangling underneath the surface of the water. Once discovered the sharks are put out of its misery by being shot.

Rochat, who founded AfriOceans, says that Shark culling is certainly not new in South Africa.

On her blog, Rochat says, “The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has been using shark nets and drumlines for decades.”

NEWS 24

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