Al Venter has been free-diving (without cages) with sharks for 40 years and has had three of his friends killed by them. The international author known for his war writing now turns his efforts on highlighting their importance to the world's ocean ecosytems.
He regards the shark as one our greatest oceanic assets: remove the shark from the maritime environment and an ecological disaster will follow. For decades, the waters around South Africa have had more sharks and a greater variety of these predators than any other coastline in the world. There are several reasons, one being the annual sardine run up the east coast. The sharks draw many South Africans and others from around the world, among them Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and King Abdullah of Jordan.
Working with specialist divers and friends, as well as world-class photographers, Venter has created a book on sharks that is not only instructive but also breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating. Photographers who submitted work for publication include Fiona Ayerst, Morne Hardenberg and the diminutive shark warrior Lesley Rochat.