Ranked #4 of 14 attractions in Gansbaai
White Shark Ecoventures is widely acknowledged as one of South Africa’s leading shark cage diving and viewing specialists and...
White Shark Ecoventures is widely acknowledged as one of South Africa’s leading shark cage diving and viewing specialists and is part of an industry attracting over 40 000 visitors per annum to South Africa. Driven by her passion for these animals, our CEO Cindy Thornhill was co-founder of the White Shark Cage Diving industry in South Africa in 1992.Our MD, Mariette Hopley was the founder of the Great White Shark Protection Foundation in 2001 and is still the chairperson for this foundation. She wrote the constitution for the WSCD Industry and invited operators to join the Section 21 registered Foundation. Due to her efforts and input, she managed to ensure that the WSCD industry was accredited as a responsible industrial body in the non-consumptive sector with MCM (Marine & Coastal Management) and Government. Mariette has also been nominated to be appointed to the Robbin Island Portfolio Committee, as the nature conservation portfolio member. Mariette’s involvement in conservation and rehabilitation of all wildlife species over the years, have earned her an international contract with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare). During the war in Iraq in 2003, IFAW deemed Mariette as the only person qualified enough to be send into the war stricken area of Baghdad, where hundreds of highly stressed, abused, injured and war stricken animals at Saddam Hussain’s palace and the Zawra Park Zoo. Her expertise with marine , rapture and water birds, as well as other animals such as bears, lions, tigers and smaller predators, made her the ideal candidate for this very difficult task. After her initial assessment of the severity of the situation, she selected and deployed various other specialist members from across the globe to come out to assist her with her tasks in this war stricken red zone. Her experience also lead to her involvement in 3 major oil spills around the South African coast line, namely the Apollo Sea, Cordigliera and most recent Treasure Oil Spills. Here she was the Logistical Co-ordinator for IFAW and was deployed to built facilities and to rehabilitate and clean more than 33 000 African Penguins. Due to her expertise in the field, she had a very high success rate with all 3 these project.. Mariette is also actively involved in the lobbying of species for international CITIES listing and have participate in various campaigns opposing canned lion hunting, large predator breeding programs, illegal ivory trade and culling of elephants. Mariette was instrumental in the lobbying of Great White Sharks to become listed on CITIES and was the Executive Committee Chairperson for SANCCOB for two consecutive years. Mariette has also designed the MH feeding box and pen divider for SANCCOB, for marine birds which are kept in quarantine. Both these inventions were specifically designed to ensure that stress is reduced to a minimum, when handling the birds.In parliament, Mariette was nominated to serve on the National Minister for Environmental & Tourism Affairs (Fishing Industry Task Team), as the non-consumptive representative for the WSCD, mariculture and scuba diving. Here she performed the task as advisor to the Minister and spokesperson for the non–consumptive industries.