The shark-tastic days of 2016 may be coming to a close as many of the juvenile great whites that have been hanging around SoCal beaches are finally migrating south, says Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach.
Possibly spurred by dropping ocean temperatures, several juvenile sharks tagged with trackers by Lowe have forsaken California, most likely headed for warmer waters off Baja California. Lowe and his research team have been downloading data from the 45 sharks they have implanted with tracking devices. That process takes months, but early indications are that the sharks are behaving more like they did prior to the last El Nino event, which raised water temperatures and might have encouraged the youngsters to hang around Dana Point, Santa Monica Bay, Ventura and other local shark haunts.
“That seems to be the trend so far,” Lowe says. “Not only are we detecting fewer but people are sighting fewer sharks. With that said, sharks are still being sighted. They haven’t all left.”