August 25, 2015

Consistent Shark Encounters Raise Questions

You’ve seen the footage. It seems now-a-days that there’s a video of a shark and human encounter every week. From Southern California, to Florida, to South Africa, to Australia there have been countless Great White Shark encounters caught on video over the past few years, but especially this summer! To the untrained eye it would appear that the shark population is on the rise. At the same time, you can’t help but notice that the GoPro population is on the rise too! An increase in global water temps has also been mentioned as a possible factor.

So what gives? We all watch the clips, yet there’s often no facts or info to go along with the sightings. That’s because even with the latest advances in technology the tracking and studying of these apex predators has still proved to be extremely difficult. Meanwhile, everyone’s wondering the same thing. Has the shark population increased? How many sharks are out there? What beaches are safe?

A Great White Shark swims next to paddle boarders at Manhattan Beach, CA. Photo by Nathan Anderson.

In this series of blogs we’ll try and get to the bottom of the mystery. By compiling video of recent shark encounters, having discussions with shark experts and marine scientists, and taking into consideration first-hand accounts from shark attack victims we hope to find a better understanding of what’s really going on.

A large Great White follows a marine biologist off of Cape Town, South Africa. Research has proven that Great Whites are attracted to the color yellow. Photo by Thomas Peschak.

First, let’s take a look at some of the most popular shark encounters over the last few months.

Although not captured on video, this attack on a kayaker last week near Santa Barbara, CA has the community on edge.

A drone camera operator near Pismo Beach, CA got a big surprise when he filmed a weekend surf session two weeks ago.

In early July, several beach goers witnessed up to 13 Great Whites roaming the Seacliff and Aptos beaches in Monterey Bay, Ca.

Further down the coast, paddle boarders in Huntington have been spotting Great Whites almost daily.

Also in July, pro surfer Mick Fanning’s amazing shark attack was caught on a live webcast at a South African surf contest.

Coming Soon: In a better effort to understand what’s going on, we discuss the increase in shark sightings with shark experts and marine scientists!

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