Warmer than usual waters are making white sharks show up earlier in Southern California
Summer is almost here, but great white sharks are getting the party started early in Southern California. Over the past few weeks, dozens of sharks have been spotted off popular beaches around San Clemente and San Onofre leading both residents and scientists to wonder: are there really more sharks this year?
Shark season is usually from May to October, ending when the sharks head down to Mexico as the oceans cool around California. They come back again when it gets warm enough. But this year, plenty of white sharks have been showing up early, which Lowe calls unusual.
In general though, white shark populations are increasing, which is a good thing. “The numbers are going up over time because white sharks have been protected from fishing. Their numbers are increasing, we’ve been seeing more and more each year.”
The public’s relationship with sharks can often be contentious, and after a serious shark attack at the end of April on San Onofre State Beach, tensions remain high when there are lots of sharks in the water. This past weekend the beaches were closed after some sharks spotted measured over 10 feet long, meaning they aren’t the young ones that are generally friendly.