70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Fishy Fridays – Tiger sharks

By: Ann Kunz
A fishermen took a video of a tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) attempting to feed on what appears to be an adult loggerhead turtle on Sunday 24th January 2022.

The varied diet of tiger sharks sets them apart from all other species of shark. Their specialized teeth, which are shaped like cockscomb saws, allow them to cut through and devour almost anything. Interestingly, scientists have even found items such as number plates and pieces of car tire in their stomachs, giving them the nickname “trashcans of the sea”.

”The turtle in this video seems to have had a very lucky escape and will live to see another day. Of interest, is that we admitted a turtle whose flippers had been injured by a tiger shark in the same area a couple weeks ago. So that’s the second incident of the summer so far”, said ORI scientist Ryan Daly”. 

Tiger sharks play a key role in our marine ecosystems as top predators. They prefer warmer waters and regularly visit the coast of KZN during our summer months.

As they migrate across borders, they too are exposed to various threats, such as unregulated fishing pressure and remain vulnerable to population declines.