Huge Zambezi shark caught in Breede River

Posted by Laura Grant on January 28, 2009
Posted in Green News

The South African Shark Conservancy has caught a huge four-metre Zambezi (bull) shark on an expedition on the Breede River this month. The shark is the largest of its kind known to science, the SASC says. The previous known maximum length for Zambezi sharks was 3.4 to 3.5 metres.

The shark also appeared to be heavily pregnant, which, says the SASC, suggests that the Breede River may be a nursery ground for the sharks.

Previously the species was known to occur as far south as Cape St. Francis in the Eastern Cape, so the discovery of the shark in the Breede river is a significant range extension for the species in South Africa, says the SASC.

The shark, which researchers named Nyami Nyami after the Zambezi river god, was caught on the fourth day of an expedition by a professional angler about 5,5km upstream. The shark towed the boat for 2,5km before it was landed on mud banks. The shark was tagged so that researchers could follow her movements.

“We proceeded to track Nyami Nyami for 43 consecutive hours which, as far as we know, is the longest time this species has been tracked.  She moved up and down the estuary, following fishing boats and looking for an easy source of food, swimming as far as 15km upriver,” the SASC wrote on its website.

The group is looking to raise funding so it can continue studying the animal on the Breede River.

You can see pictures of the shark on the conservancy’s website.


3 Responses to “Huge Zambezi shark caught in Breede River”

  1. lynne kershaw
    March 4th, 2009 @ 8:50 am

    is the shark likly to travel 50 klms upstream into true fresh water

  2. Ubi Stohr
    July 12th, 2009 @ 8:57 am


    Zambezi sharks, or better know as bull sharks are the only shark specie with a tolerance to fresh water. to go up a river for 50km is nothing for this specie of shark. One was even found in the limpopo river in the Kruger, 130km from the ocean

    Hope this answ you question

  3. Miles
    November 30th, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    The weblink to SASC in this article is down, but you can see the blog/photos at

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