Hello Chris, welcome to Sharkman’s World
Sharkman: How long have you been interested in sharks?
Chris: I have been interested in them for the last 15 years.
Sharkman: How did this interest start?
Chris: By tagging fish as part of a volunteer programme.
Sharkman: In what way is your work related to sharks?
Chris: My wife Monique and I are full time Great White Shark photographers and together with Rob Lawrence, we run African Shark Eco-Charters. I was the first person to discover the unique breaching and predatory behaviour. We were the first people to ever document this behaviour. Showing it in detail in the form of print and film at Seal Island, False Bay, South Africa, where they do it more often than anywhere else on earth.
Sharkman: Chris, can you please explain what Great White “breaching” is?
Chris: Breaching is simply where the shark clears it’s body out of the water usually as part of a predatory attempt.
Sharkman: How “high up” would you estimate the highest breach you have seen?
Chris: A 4 metres shark at least 2 metres clear of the water.
Sharkman: How often does this occur?
Chris: It can happen at least once or twice a week at the right time of year.
Sharkman: What is the right time of year?
Chris: Between April and October.
Sharkman: How many times a year do you make these shark trips?
Chris: Up to 125 times per annum
Sharkman: Can you please explain briefly what a “Shark Trip Day” is like?
Chris: We leave the harbour at 07:00 or earlier and return at around 14:00-15:00, weather dependent. We spend the first two hours observing natural predatory behaviour, and thereafter we anchor up and using natural marine products only we draw sharks closer to the boat for data recording or tagging or filming.
Sharkman: Chris you also organise other trips right?
Chris: Yes in fact, we have now introduced our new combination trip. We do Mako & Blue sharks as well as flying Great Whites and an amazing safari to Namibia all in ONE trip.
Sharkman: Which is “The Most Memorable Moment in your Career”?
Chris: Seeing my first Great White breach close to the boat in an attempt to catch a seal. Having a 3 metre Great White get completely into a cage with me; getting the sharks to breach on our decoys; seeing the same sharks again the following year and knowing they are O.K. When you work with these awesome creatures, every day is memorable.
Sharkman: Anything else you would like to add ?
Chris: To know it, is to love it, to love it, is to care for it, that you may love it tomorrow.
Sharkman: True words Chris. Thank you.
Monique and Chris Fallows with The Sharkman