Record number of sharks in SoCal waters, scientists say

Border Report

Shark spotted in the ocean off the Southern California coast by Shark Lab researchers. (Courtesy: Shark Lab, Cal State University Long Beach)

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Scientists are reporting more sharks in Southern California waters than ever before.

According to KCAL-TV, the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach tagged 38 sharks, three times the number tagged last year by marine researchers

Lab Director Chris Lowe said he sent fewer staff members to tag sharks this year because of social distancing and limited lab time due to the coronavirus, but was amazed they found so many sharks in the ocean.

Shark Lab at Cal State University Long Beach reported more sharks off Southern California coast than ever before. (Courtesy: Shark Lab, Cal State University Long Beach)

“This was a big year,” he said. “So, even with COVID, we tagged more sharks this year than we have any other year.”

Lowe reported large numbers of young great white sharks swimming along beaches from San Diego to Santa Barbara.

“The shark clusters were larger and remained in the coastal waters longer than in past years,” Lowe said. “This year there were just more sharks around, and the question is why.”

Lowe can’t explain why the sharks continue to hang around Southern California beyond their normal stays.

“Normally, in our fall when our water temperature gets to the low 60s, that seems to be a cue that drives them to migrate south to Baja,” Lowe said. “And so far, here we are mid-October, and the sharks are still sticking around. Maybe 2020 is going to be a year-round shark season.”

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