Thomas Peschak, chief photographer of the Save Our Seas Foundation, has a 15-page article in Africa Geographic about shark nets at beaches at the subtropical waters off KwaZulu Natal (KZN), South Africa [PDF, 1.2MB]. The SOSF website features an informative 11-minute video about the history and impact of shark nets.
KZN is one of only a handful of places in the world where shark nets are still used. Many people wrongly believe that these nets are a continuous barrier that prevent sharks from approaching beaches. In reality they are gill nets designed to entangle, suffocate and kill sharks. In fact 40% of sharks are caught on the beach side of the nets on their way back out to sea… Between 1978 and 2008 the nets caught 33,684 large sharks and the present day haul is 600 sharks every year.
The web page also features a lot of historical images; if you’re curious about the environmental impact of shark nets off the southern cape of Africa, it’s definitely worth watching.