They are always out there. Three surfers sighted a great white shark off Huntington Beach this week, which resulted in the beach being closed for a few hours.
With “Shark Week” starting on the Discovery Channel, we wanted to take a look at one of the ocean’s apex predators.
Dr. Chris Lowe is a professor of marine biology and has been director of the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach since 1998. In his video on shark safety, he says that it’s taken more than 20 years to bring the shark population back from being overfished. They are important animals in our marine ecosystem. Sharks help keep our marine mammal and fish populations healthy.
Sharks are not looking for humans and they generally ignore crowded areas. There are more shark sightings in our coastal waters these days because preservations and study efforts are working.
Here’s where to find the Shark Lab’s recommendations for staying safe at the beach and it’s not just sharks you need to worry about. Sting rays, rip currents and sea jellies are cause for concern as well.
Shark lab events coming up
After a 2-year hiatus, the Shark Lab is proud to once again host Sharks @ the Beach, an event where the community can gain a more extensive look at the research carried out in the Shark Lab and includes a presentation by Lowe.
This year’s event is on July 30, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This free family-friendly event allows the public to visit the Shark Lab, meet our team, and participate in various activities. We will also have a professional development workshop available for teachers (workshop portion requires RSVP).
Attacks in California
A shark incident is defined as any documented case where a shark approached and touched a person in the water or a person’s surfboard, kayak, paddleboard, etc.
There were 203 shark incidents in California from 1950 through 2022, with 15 fatalities. The map shows incidents by county.
An apex predator
Sources: Shark Research Committee, NOAA, CSU Long Beach Shark Lab, National Geographic, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Shark Research Committee, Discovery
Source: Orange County Register