Rise in sightings unlike anything in previous years
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 May, 2017 - Shark activity near some of Southern California’s most popular surf spots has many surfers wondering if it’s safe to surf their local break.
Clusters of sightings in Long Beach, Dana Point and Huntington Beach come on the heels of a serious attack near Trestles last week where a woman lost a large chunk of her thigh.
Near Doheny in Dana Point a sheriff’s department helicopter spotted 15 great whites this week and issued a warning over the loudspeaker for a lone paddle boarder to get out of the area as fast as he could. "You are paddleboarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks," was the warning.
In Long Beach 10 whites were spotted near shore.
Most accounts describe the sharks as juvenile white sharks who thrive in the mild ocean temperatures found in late spring and early fall.
The rise in sightings and encounters is credited to several factors: rebounding seal populations and therefore growing shark numbers and near-shore food sources at the moment.
“Keith Poe of Shark Tagger has observed a considerable amount of fish, bird, and marine mammal activity in this area (Long Beach), and several other areas as well,” said Ralph Collier of Shark Research. “This could be attracting the sharks close inshore to take advantage of these prey species.”
Also consider there's an army of ocean users armed with GoPros, Surf Cams and iPhones. As part of the "capture-and-share-everything" culture, chances are if a shark is nearby someone will see it, record its presence and post to social media.