For those of you that love warm water diving the way I do there is even more reason to head up the East Coast on a dive trip. It may come as no surprise to divers familiar with the site, but scientists have confirmed that the Protea Banks—which was recently made a Marine Protected Area—is an important summertime congregation site for the endangered scalloped hammerheads (Sphyrna lewini).

Scuba divers surveyed the banks’ pinnacles between December 2018 and January 2019. Over 12 diving days, they found huge numbers of scalloped hammerheads at both the northern and southern pinnacles of Protea Banks, with a maximum of 2,000 individual sharks recorded in a single dive. Sightings only occurred when the water temperature was above 20. The findings underline the importance of this site as essential habitat for threatened sharks, according to staff from WildOceans, a programme of WildTrust who presented the results of the survey during an online conservation conference on 4 November.