OC Shark Attacks at an All Time High



Prior to 2015, authorities never had to keep the public out of the waters off Huntington Beach because of shark activity. However, just this year there have been three closures, including one earlier this month after several large sharks were seen in the water about 150 yards off the coast, according to latimes.com.

Chris Lowe, Director of the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach, has been studying the recent shift in great white behavior in Southern California. He and others have seen groups of great whites hanging out close to shore in areas he describes as “hot spots” in places like Santa Monica, Hermosa and Manhattan Beach, Surfside in Seal Beach, San Onofre and, most recently, Long Beach near Alamitos Bay, according to the ocregister.com.

“We should be worried, to an extent,” Lowe stated in an interview with the ocregister.com. “But we should also be encouraged.”

A woman was bitten by a shark while surfing at San Onofre State Beach on Saturday, April 29. Last Memorial Day, another woman training for triathlons nearly died after being mauled by a great white shark while swimming off Corona del Mar, according to ocregister.com.

Sharks have also been sighted at Poche Beach, Capistrano Beach, and San Onofre State Beach, where a woman was bitten recently. She remains in a medically induced coma. Wednesday, April 26th, a great white shark was spotted off the coast of Dana Point feeding on a dead humpback whale, stated abc7.com.

“Ocean temperatures are rising, causing them to live in places they’ve never lived before,” Lowe stated in an interview with the ocregister.com. “Populations are coming back and ocean conditions may be pushing them to new places.”

No fewer than 15 people have been killed by sharks off the coast of  Western Australia since 2000. A swimmer was killed in such shallow water that people eating breakfast at a beachfront restaurant witnessed the massacre. The most recent attack was a teenage girl killed in front of her father while they were surfing, reported ocregister.com.

Scientists with the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach detected 21 instances of juvenile white sharks swimming in Huntington Beach waters in 2015, according to latimes.com.

The first year scientists began to systematically track sharks in that area. That was the highest number of hits along any Southern California beach, stated to latimes.com.