Who We Are
For over 10 years, the South African Shark Conservancy (SASC) has dedicated its efforts to promoting the conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources. During this time we realized just how passionate we are about working with young scientists and conservationists like you. Consequently, we founded the Shark Academy – the skills development and training division of SASC. We work with you to help you develop the skills and tools required to pursue a career in marine science – or simply provide you with a sneak peek into the life of a shark scientist.
The overarching goal of our work is to improve conservation and management strategies for these iconic animals. Be a part, join our team and make a positive and long lasting contribution to our research!
Shark Science Hands On
Research at SASC is focused on biology and ecology, with an emphasis on understanding the role of sharks in ocean ecosystems. We use a combination of field- and lab-based research techniques to study more than 25 species of shark, skate and ray. We employ a holistic, ecosystem-based approach to all our projects, thereby ensuring our work has pragmatic conservation and management outcomes.
Meet Our Team
This volunteer company was founded by scientist, Meaghen McCord, who is passionate about sharing her knowledge and love for sharks and the ocean. She and her team use 20 plus years of shark science and diving experience to provide a unique training experience, all with the aim of getting you up close and personal with Africa’s diverse sharks.
I studied tourism as I always had a passion for travel and learning about people and places. After my studies I worked in the travel industry in London before coming back to South Africa. I then worked as an administrator in the voluntourism industry, and since then I never looked back. I have a love for working with people as well as marine animals.
Early in 2014, I came back to South Africa for an internship with the South African Shark Conservancy and, due to my enthusiasm and hard work, I was offered a position on the team. I have been in South Africa ever since and am now the Operations Manager of the SASC team. I am responsible for managing daily research and outreach activities, overseeing the Shark Academy skills development training for interns and volunteers, liaising with stakeholders, and managing our large ecological databases.
I joined the SASC team in 2018 and am responsible for overseeing all field-related activities, from safety at sea to research planning to intern and volunteer field training. I am passionate about working with our interns and volunteers, and focus on delivering positive outcomes-based experiences.
Meaghen has co-authored scientific papers on sharks and serves as a specialist scientist on a number of international committees. Her expertise in sharks has led her on numerous adventures, and her work has been featured on Animal Planet, BBC Earth, Discovery Channel, Forbes Women Africa, and more. She has also acted as the shark scientist on thrilling expeditions for Land Rover and Discovery Channel. Meaghen’s desire to share sharks with the world in a unique, responsible and interactive way, led her to start The Shark Company in 2018.
I eventually found myself in Hermanus where I joined the SASC team, initially as the Field Operations Manager and most recently as the Shark Academy Program Manager. It is great to be part of such a motivated team of people and I really enjoy spending time with the interns and volunteers from around the world who come to experience all that SASC and the Shark Academy has to offer.
Science with a View
You will find our research lab on the shoreline of Walker Bay – the heart of the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot. We are at the center of a global shark diversity hotspot, with more than 60 species of shark, skate, ray and chimaera. The Shark Lab is a fully functional wet lab comprising in-house shark research facilities. It also contains an education center, as well as staff and student offices. The Shark Lab has a flow-through saltwater system and houses endemic sharks which are used for research and education purposes.
You Can Help Support Us
You can’t join the Shark Academy? No problem: we offer several research sponsorship opportunities for people who would like to contribute to our work. Check out our campaigns on GivenGain and choose one that suits your needs. Of course we’re open for other forms of donation too, so if you would like to contribute in other ways just get in touch
As a Shark Guardian
Help identify critical shark habitats.
Receive live updates from our research team.
As a Shark Hero
Name your shark and receive ongoing data on your adopted shark.
Be a shark hero today.
As a Shark Sponsor
Help us spend more time in the field studying your shark of choice.
Become a shark sponsor.
Good Reasons to Consider
The Shark Academy
Contribute to Positive Conservation Change
Join the Team and Get up Close to Sharks
ARE YOU STILL NOT SURE IF THE SHARK ACADEMY IS FOR YOU?
LET US HELP YOU DECIDE
Your time with us is packed with education and adventure. The Shark Academy will be an experience you never forget.
We help you develop the skills and tools you need to kickstart a career in marine science and conservation. In the lab and in the field.
Sharing Our Vision
Get in Touch
How can we help you?
Fill out or contact form and ask any questions you may have. You can also view our FAQ section to see if some of your questions and answers are listed there.
We would love to hear from you and assist you in your journey to gain valuable knowledge and experience in marine conservation and South African marine eco-systems.