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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Spurway

Don't be fish food

I watched a fascinating 5 minute BBC video which talked about the disappearance of the largest shark on the planet from the “great white capital of the world”.

A disappearance so sudden it has left scientists baffled and concerned.

Between 2010 and 2016, great white sharks were sighted in False Bay, South Africa, an average of 205 times a year.

In 2018 the sharks were spotted 50 times.

In 2019 there wasn't a single sighting.

And it wasn't until January 2020 that the first great white shark in 20 months was seen.

The shark industry brings in $2.5bn a year for the country and so this crash in numbers is an economical diastaster, as well as an ecological one.

So, what has caused this disappearance?

Well, there's two plausible explanations ...

  1. Great Whites are a protected species, but over-fishing of their prey - smaller sharks - has reduced food stock to such a low level they are no longer able to sustain themselves and so have found alternative feeding grounds.

  2. The second theory is a group of specialist great white shark hunters have been seen in the area. Killer Whales/Orcas. Carcasses of large great whites have been found with evidence that the orcas killed them for their livers.

This is likely to have had the effect of forcing the Great Whites out of the area. Either that or they've all simply been consumed.

The similarity between this situation and those many small businesses find themselves in is disturbing.

The Great White was for so very long the apex predator - top of the food chain. It had its pick of the prey and no other creature could challenge it.

But along comes a new predator.

It's bigger ...

Has more tools in its armoury ...

And is not afraid of moving into new areas. Your area.

Today's small business tip is: don't rest on your laurels.

Back in my days of gainful employment, I was taught to keep an eye on the competition.

To see what they were up - what messages they were coming out with.

Which industries they were promoting themselves in.

What new bright and shiny products or services were they announcing to try and entice our customers away.

Without this insight we would never have known to react and protect ourselves with our own new products and services.

We would have been fish food.

So, despite how good you think you might have it right now, it pays to keep a wary eye on the predators around you.

Best, Lindsey

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