More juvenile sharks off Californian coast

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More juvenile sharks off Californian coast

May 24, 2017 - 09:41
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Juvenile great white sharks have been spotted near Californian coasts, but there is no need to be alarmed.

Dr Chris Lowe and graduate students preparing for a shark tagging expedition in the fall of 2015.

Recently, great white sharks have been spotted off the Californian coast, as many as 25 of them on a particular afternoon.

Needless to say, this has put some people on edge. However, it is good news to the ears of Chris Lowe, PhD., professor of marine biology and director of the California State University, Long Beach Shark Lab.

The increase in shark numbers point to a recovering shark population, and the success of legislation—like the Clean Water Act and the Marine Life Protection Act—designed to protect and boost the state’s marine life.

“It has taken decades, but the reason we know these efforts are working is because these animals are coming back. If the coastal ocean is getting healthier with five times more people living in Coastal California, this is because we have done a great job at regulating water quality,” said Dr Lowe.

And to set the record straight, the great whites spotted near California’s coasts are actually juveniles. “These are babies and they are using our beaches as nurseries. These beaches are being used as cradles. This is why these [juvenile sharks] are coming to our beaches—it is the safest for them,” said Dr Lowe.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s all right to swim near them. Even as juveniles, they are still dangerous and their bite will pack a mean punch for anyone who ventures too close or provokes them.

According to Dr Lowe, the challenge now is that “the public has to learn to live with these predators once again. We have to now learn to share these environments."

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