From the Operator
Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions is the original shark cage diving company with over 50 years hands on experience with great white sharks. Rodney invented the cage to study great whites, following his near fatal attack in 1963. He became one of the first advocates of the species, made the first underwater films and worked with pioneering shark researchers and film crews from the 1960’s. The first tourists to ever see great whites joined Rodney Fox in the 1970’s.
In recent decades our operational site has enjoyed the unprecedented reliability and clear water of the spectacular Neptune Islands. Our live-aboard tours are world exclusive in taking SCUBA divers deep down into the white sharks domain on the floor of the Southern Ocean, where the closest of encounters prevail.
Rodney’s lifetime work to champion great white sharks has progressed our understanding of this apex predator and driven white shark protection worldwide. White shark researcher and photographer son Andrew Fox now runs the expeditions and the Fox Shark Research Foundation continues this conservation focus. Rodney has been inducted into the SCUBA Divers International Hall of Fame and he and our operation have received numerous global and local Australian awards for a lifetime of contribution to the ocean environment.
Shark Diving Experiences
Our unique ocean floor cage takes qualified SCUBA divers 18-25m deep down into the world of the white shark. Down in the rich sea grass beds and rocky reefs, the white sharks are more naturally at home. Here we view them interacting with each other and huge stingrays, and a multitude of other endemic South Australian fish life. The natural curiosity of the white shark brings them in both slowly and extremely close and all with the freedom of SCUBA diving from the safety of our special submersible cage.
The Neptune Islands Marine Reserve is home to Australia’s largest fur seal population and frequented by white sharks, almost year round. The ‘super giant’ breeding female sharks visit from Late April to August and male sharks are present throughout. Our summer months also offer opportunities to view white sharks mixing it up with bronze whaler and mako sharks. Non SCUBA diving partners can have a full experience on-board enjoying the surface cage diving under the supervision of our professional crew. Max. 12 guests on-board gives extended cage time opportunities.
South Australia offers a host of other unique underwater delights. As well as the many unique endemic species at the Neptune Islands, our standard itineraries include diving with the incredibly playful and photogenic Australian sea lions at Hopkins Island. Also available on longer itineraries are the beautifully camouflaged leafy and weedy sea dragons, giant Australian cuttlefish mating plus a host of breathtaking jetty dives with blue ringed octopus, ornate cowfish and frogfish amongst the many species living amongst the pylons.
Shark Research & Conservation
Each and every Rodney Fox Shark Expedition provides the vital platform for our associated Fox Shark Research Foundation (FSRF). Ongoing research includes tissue sampling, acoustic and satellite tracking, shark repellant trials and various population biology studies. These studies are conducted in collaboration with many other local and international students, scientists and institutions and result in a multitude of peer reviewed scientific publications.
Key to all of these studies is identifying exactly which particular sharks we are experiencing at the Neptune Islands and knowing their past and ongoing history both within our operational area and beyond. We use specific visual markers to profile each shark, and now almost 1000 individuals profiled in our photographic ID database. We strive to recognise and profile each shark seen, and invite all guests to update and contribute to our extensive Fox Shark Research Foundation ID Catalogue.
The welfare of white sharks as a species and the individual animals themselves is considered first and foremost. We pride ourselves on the educational element of our tours, yet strive to support and practice non-invasive research methods whenever possible. Most research programs we support involve a component of assessing, limiting and monitoring the potential impact that we ourselves might have on the sharks and the local environment.