Pacific Coast Shark News 2011
The following reports for 2011 are provided as a public service. They are intended to inform our visitors of current shark activities along the Pacific Coast of North America. To review Pacific Coast Shark News for 2003 click here, for 2004 click here, for 2005 click here, for 2006 news click here, for 2007 click here, for 2008 click here, for 2009 news click here, and for 2010 news click here.
San Onofre State Beach On December 27, 2011 Daniel Pasoz was surfing at San Onofre State Beach, Trail 4. It was 11:00 AM and he had been on the water about 60 minutes. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was about 10 feet deep with the surf running about 5 feet and an estimated water temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Pasoz reported;While I was sitting on my board waiting for surf sets I noticed a dorsal fin and a wide body shark between outside sets, about 200 feet from shore. The shark's body appeared all scratched up. It was dark grey in color and about 7 feet in length. It kept swimming in a specific area for about 10 minutes before it submerged and was not seen again. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Seaside, OR On December 6, 2011 KPTV FOX 12 Portland reported; "An unidentified female surfer may have been the victim of a shark attack off the Oregon Coast was transferred to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland following emergency treatment in Seaside. The surfer was injured at about 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Seaside Cove, which is on the southern end of Seaside. The severity of her injuries isn't known.Johnny Rogers, a surfer who witnessed the incident, said he saw a big splash. 'She had a little short board, a tiny board, and there was a big splash. A stand-up paddler came over and got her on his board, and they paddled north a ways. They came in to where they could be washed in,' he said. Scott Earling says he was watching surfers with his binoculars from a hotel room along the coastline. 'I saw a guy on a stand-up board and was watching him a little bit. The next time I spotted him, he had a second person on the front of his board and they were just trying to get into shore,'he says. 'The surfer on his board was obviously in some kind of trouble.' Capt. Joey Daniels, of Seaside Fire and Rescue, said; 'firefighters were waved down by several surfers when they arrived. The surfer suffered puncture marks to her leg.' But no one can say for sure exactly what injured the surfer.Earling says 'something definitely took a chunk' out of the surfboard. Photos showed what appeared to be blood on the board." This is the third unprovoked shark attack reported from the Oregon coast this year, and second from Seaside, since October 10th. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ocean Beach On December 3, 2011 Eric Kern was surfing near Lincoln Street, at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. It was 1:00 PM and he had been on the water about 1 hour. Water and air temperatures were lower than normal and there was a strong offshore wind. There was a large swell over water about 10 feet deep. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Kern recounted; I was sitting on my board waiting for the sets. A small wave passed and I saw a 2 foot tall dorsal fin about 30 yards away coming straight at me at very high speed. I knew immediately that it was not a dolphin because of the large size and shape. The fin was travelling at high speed directly towards me. I panicked and began paddling as hard as I could for shore. After a few seconds I looked back and the fin was gone. I never saw it again. It was definitely a large white pointer (white shark). Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pigeon Point On November 22, 2011 Harry Pali reported the following; "Ted Akizuki and I started out the day fishing the north side of the light house parallel to the big island, drifting north. Conditions were south winds (approx. 10-15 MPH), north swell, water was wind chop and lumpy. We were probably in the water 1-1/2 hours when I got hit. When I was hit by GW I thought I got hit by a boat, but the impact felt like being hit by a car. The impact/bite was directly under my seat (approx. mid ship). The impact was hard enough to send me airborne and flip my Outback...and I am 6'2" and weigh 235 lbs. I can't explain the sheer panic and fear I felt at that very moment. I landed in the water and have never scurried so quickly to get back to the kayak that was still upside down. Ted witnessed the shark's reentry into the water and saw the last half of the shark's body. So apparently, the shark had enough velocity to go airborne. Ted came over to assist and calm me down, but I was still in panic mode. And, all I wanted to do was get out of there. Ted came along side and I grabbed the handle on the back side of his kayak and he started to paddle us in. Because my kayak was still upside down it created a drift sock effect and along with the conditions it made it almost impossible to gain any ground. Ted had his hands full trying to get us in. The decision was made that I would have to go back into the water and right the kayak. It took a long time before I finally went back into the water fearing Great White may be lurking. Once we righted the kayak we headed for shore. But because of the punctures, my kayak was slowly being swamped which made it difficult to maneuver. I had to use my paddle as outriggers to keep the kayak from flipping again. I just wanted to literally run across the water to get to the beach!" This is the seventh authenticated unprovoked shark attack from the Pacific Coast of North America during 2011. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ocean Beach On November 1, 2011 Dusty Payne, 22, of Hawaii, was competing in the Rip Curl Pro Search 2011 surfing contest at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. Payne said; I was just sitting there (in the lineup) waiting for a wave. I've seen dolphins before and it wasn't a dolphin, it was the biggest fin I've ever seen in my life coming straight at me. A contest boat floating just offshore called in after the sighting and reported observing a dolphin in the area. Because the sighting of a dolphin does not preclude a shark being in the same area at the same time, organizers utilized a jet ski to patrol the area. There were no further observations of the shark. Despite the alleged sighting, the contest continued all day. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Beacon's Beach On October 31, 2011 Encinitas Lifeguard Sgt. David Brown said a surfer reported a Great White Shark at Beacon's Beach, Encinitas. The unidentified surfer told lifeguards that a 8 10 foot Great White Shark swam under his board and circled him at about 2:50 PM. He caught a wave in to shore and began warning others to get out of the water. The beach was not closed but a warning was posted asking people to stay out of the water. Despite this warning some people did go in the water. Brown said; There has been a lot of dolphin activity over the past week, but the surfer who reported the shark seemed credible based on how he described the shark, the surfer's history with sharks and his ability to distinguish between types of sharks. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Torrey Pines State Beach On October 30, 2011 Wendy Littooy reported the following; I captured this photo of a shark today at Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego. The Shark was swimming South in the clear day surf at 2:15 PM. A man was standing on the rocks nearby, which I used as a size reference. The shark appeared to be about 7 8 feet in length. I took this photo with a 300mm lens. This photograph is smaller than the original so that it would fit the format of the News page. On September 1, 2011 a photograph taken at Swamis in Encinitas, showed what appeared to be the image of a large shark, turning and swimming out to sea. There was much conjecture in the media and posting boards that sharks, especially large adult white sharks, would not venture into the surf-zone. This latest image would appear large sharks do enter shallow coastal beaches from time to time. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Marina State Beach On October 29, 2011 Dennis Taylor of the Monterey County Herald reported; A Monterey man suffered multiple injuries Saturday morning when he was attacked by a shark while surfing at Marina State Beach. Eric Tarantino, 27, was bitten on the neck and right forearm by a shark that took a 19-inch chunk from his red surfboard. The attack occurred shortly after 7 a.m., about 10 minutes after he and a friend, Brandon McKibben of Salinas, had entered the water. With help from McKibben, Tarantino managed to get out of the water, then climbed to the parking lot on his own power, where a half-dozen or more fellow surfers used beach towels to apply a tourniquet to his arm and staunch the bleeding from his neck. Paramedics arrived just minutes later and treated Tarantino at the scene before transporting him to Marina Municipal Airport, from which he was airlifted to San Jose Regional Medical Center. Dana M. Jones, Monterey Sector Superintendent for the California Department of Parks and Recreation, said his injuries did not appear to be life threatening. Jones said signs will be posted along beaches from Fort Ord to Moss Landing advising of shark danger, recommending that beach-goers refrain from any water activities over the next seven days. The sand portion of the beaches will remain open, and the the waters will be observed in the coming days for additional shark activity, Jones said. The SRC is currently gathering additional information, which will be posted when available. This is the 6th unprovoked shark attack reported from the Pacific Coast of North America in 2011 and the third attack in 19 days. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Seacliff State Beach On October 26, 2011 Stephen Baxter of the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported the following; A white shark about 15 feet long was photographed from a helicopter about a quarter mile off Seacliff State Beach. Pilot Paul Henrichsen of Watsonville-based Specialized Helicopters was flying with Neal Martin of Sky High Photography when Henrichsen spotted the shark about 12:00PM. It was just below the water's surface about a quarter mile off Seacliff State Beach north of the cement ship. It looked like a jet trail. It was pretty darn epic, actually,' Henrichsen said. Martin added, We both initially wondered if it was a whale? We were both quite surprised how long it was.' The animal's triangular fin tipped them off that it was a shark, he said. They circled roughly 800 feet above it for about 5 minutes as Martin shot photos as the shark dived out of view. Also on Wednesday afternoon about half mile off Capitola, sea bass fisherman Larry Roland reported a shark encounter. Roland was drifting a bright orange, parachute-like sea anchor to help stabilize the boat. The boat lurched, the sea anchor was torn, and Roland saw the shark's tail as it left. State Parks lifeguard supervisor Chip Bockman said he was not aware of other recent shark sightings but said they are common in the early fall. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Montara State Beach On October 23, 2011 Chris Obermeyer was surfing at Montara State Beach in San Mateo County. It was 9:15AM and he had been on the water about 25 minutes. He recorded air and water temperatures of 70 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sea was smooth and had 2 4 foot mid period swell from the west-northwest with a light variable southwest wind. The water was 6 7 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with like visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Obermeyer reported; There were three surfers approximately 40 yards South of my position that were paddling to and from the inside section where the waves were breaking and back out to the main lineup. We were approximately 35 45 yards offshore. This included lateral movements from on peak to another, ducking under breaking waves, and sitting on our boards waiting for the next set of waves. During this time period I made no erratic movements or splashed about. The shark was first spotted by the group to the South. I did not notice it until one of them let out a resounding oh s**t!' A quick 360 scan revealed its location approximately 15 20 yards to my left and slightly in front. The shark appeared to "cruise" nonchalantly with a Northerly heading. The dorsal fin, approximately 10 12 inches high, mainly light grey in color with a slightly darker leading edge. The leading edge was slightly swept back and the overall shape was triangular with a point on the top. Body of the animal appeared to be light grey in color. In less than a few seconds it slowly submerged. I calmly but expeditiously exited the water. I retrieved a set of binoculars from my vehicle and observed the area for 20 minutes or so with no additional sighting. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Samoa Beach On October 21, 2011 Dhurgam Al-Absi was surfing Samoa Beach near the Power Poles break just across the bridge from Eureka. It was about 9:30AM and he had been on the water 30 40 minutes. The sky was clear and sea conditions calm with 2 4 foot waves, hip to shoulder high. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-60s and 50s Fahrenheit, respectively. Water depth was 10 12 feet over a sandy ocean bottom with about 6 feet of water visibility. There were an undetermined number of sea birds actively working the area. No marine mammals were observed. Al-Absi reported; I was sitting on my surfboard facing South, around 100 yards North of a group of surfers, around the North sand bar at Power Poles. There were only two surfers nearby, around 30 to 40 yards South of me, one had a long surfboard and the other was a SUP-rider. I was watching the SUP-rider riding a wave and I heard a sound from my back right-side. As I was moving to my right back-side to see what I heard, I saw a siliverish to gray color dorsal fin sticking out, at least 12 inches, above the water coming straight toward me about 20 feet away. It changed direction to its right side and went under water as I looked at it. I looked around for a few seconds and did not see anything. I then informed the SUP rider near me about what happened and paddled in. I'm very sure it was not the usual porpoises found around here. This is the location of the September 11, 2011 attack on surfer Benjie Rose. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Agate Beach, OR On October 20, 2011 Mark Lobrovich was surfing at Agate Beach in Lincoln County, near Newport, Oregon. It was 2:00PM and he had been on the water about one hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 60 and 54 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with a mild breeze and waist to chest-high surf. The water was 15 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Lobrovich reported; While waiting for a wave the water under me started churning. I looked down and observed a dark fish shape with a dorsal fin directly below me and parallel. The shark appeared to be 4 5 feet in length. When I quickly pulled my feet up and began to paddle it reacted to my sudden movement and changed direction sharply. I paddled hard away and did not look back. I distanced myself about 100 feet away and surfed for another 20 minutes without any more interaction. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
South Beach State Park, OR On October 16, 2011 Tomas Follett was surfing at South Beach State Park near Newport, Oregon in Lincoln County. It was 3:00 PM and he had been on the water 2 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. It was sunny with offshore glassy sea surfaces with 6 7 foot surf at about 11 seconds. The water was 10 12 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom. Follett reported;I was sitting upright on my board and heard a small splash behind me. I looked back expecting to see a pinniped, but only saw a small surface disturbance/boil about 5 feet behind me. I looked down to see if a sea lion was passing under me and saw the shark quite clearly approximately 5 6 feet beneath me. The shark was dark in color dorsally and appeared to be at least as long as my board, 7 8 feet. It traveled West out of visibility, then I observed another boil about 20 feet ahead of me, which I interpreted as a tail-stroke just below the surface. A suitable wave came at that time and I rode in. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Silver Strand State Beach On October 12, 2011 Melanie Wilkie was walking along Silver Strand State Beach across from Hotel del Coronado, San Diego. It was sunny and clear with the air temperature estimated at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Wilkie reported; I observed a shark, about 12 feet in length, 30 yards from shore just beyond the wave break. The shark was black in color and heading South. When I first sighted the shark it was within only a few feet of a surfer, who apparently did not see it. The shark stayed in his vicinity for at least five minutes, then continued South along the shoreline, staying just beyond the first wave break, about 30 yards out. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Seaside, OR On October 10, 2011 Doug Niblack was surfing The Cove' at Seaside, Oregon. It was 3:00 PM and he had been on the water about 2 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 50s and 60s Fahrenheit, respectively. It was raining and the sky was overcast with an onshore breeze of 5 10 mph. There was a 6 foot swell at about 16 seconds over a sandy ocean floor 10 12 feet deep. Water visibility was 5 10 feet with a red tide' present. A deep water channel was 40 50 feet from his location. Salmon are currently present in the area and one pinniped was observed 5 10 minutes following the attack. Although there had been up to 15 surfers in the water, all but two had gone ashore prior to the attack. Niblack reported the following; I was sitting on my board, legs astraddle, for 5 - 10 minutes. I paddled over to another location near the point break and sat up. The other surfers were about 20 yards from me and closer to the beach. It seemed like my board was struck from below or hit something, very forceful. It tossed me up in the air and I landed on my knees on what at first I thought was a rock. I stood up and then saw a dorsal fin, about 2 feet high, in front of me (facing the tail)and then a tail, about 8 10 feet behind the dorsal fin. The tail began moving from side to side as the shark moved away. It was then that I realized I was on the back of a shark. I jumped off to my left side. The shark started moving away but struck my surfboard with its dorsal fin and apparently hooked my leash as I began to be pulled thru the water, along with my board. I traveled about 10 feet, when the leash went slack. I got on my surfboard and went directly to the beach. Jake Marks had witnessed the entire incident and joined me in my quick ride to the beach. The shark's coloration was a very dark charcoal grey to black. The causal species of this attack is a White Shark, 16 18 feet in length, based on coloration and size estimates provided by the victim. This is the fourth confirmed unprovoked shark attack for 2011 from the Pacific Coast of North America. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On October 8, 2011 Mike Jones reported the following;I was surfing about 100 yards South of the San Onofre State Beach Trail One about 50 yards offshore between 1:30 and 3:00 PM. I was with one other guy at this peak. As we were facing out to the ocean waiting for a wave, a 6 to 7 foot White Shark breached about 15 yards away from us. I asked the other guy if he saw that and he said yes that was not a dolphin that was a shark.' The waves were about 3 to 5 feet. The water visibility was not good due to red tide. There was a lot of fish out there jumping around today. The water was about 62 degrees Fahrenheit and the air temperature was about 72 degrees. The shark got all but its tail out of the water. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On October 1, 2011 David Bell and his wife were surfing longboards at Trail 1, San Onofre State Beach. It was about 11:00 AM and they had been on the water only a few minutes. It was sunny with air and water temperatures estimated at 70 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean bottom was a patchwork of rock and sand and 20 feet deep. There were no large dominant kelps or marine mammals observed in the area. Bell reported the following;My wife and I were surfing at Trail 1, when friends on the beach spotted 2 sharks near our location. They were at an elevated location where they could observe the beach and ocean. Both sharks were spotted circling around us. One of the sharks chased after us while riding a wave but was scared off. One shark was larger than the other. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carquinez Strait On September 26, 2011 Heather Sung was crossing over the inland water in the Carquinez Strait while riding a train over the Benicia-Martinez Bridge. It was 9:30 AM and the sky was clear. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Sung reported; I was crossing the Benicia-Martinez Bridge in an Amtrak train and gazing down into the water of the Carquinez Strait. A friend and I saw what at first appeared to be a large mass of seaweed but as it neared the surface it became evident that it was a Sevengill Shark. It was mottled dark gray in color and approximately 4 feet in length. It swam just below the surface of the water for a minute or so before disappearing into the murky depths. The Strait is the Northern most part of San Francisco Bay, and lies between San Pablo Bay and Suisun Bay. The Sacramento, San Joaquin, Petaluma, and Napa Rivers empty into this area. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Morro Bay On September 25, 2011 Ivan Ditscheiner was surfing in front of Yearba Buena at Morro Strand Park, Morro Bay. It was 10:00 AM and he had been on the water less than 30 minutes. It was sunny with air and water temperatures estimated at 60 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was about 6 feet deep with clear water and 4 5 foot seas. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Ditscheiner reported; I caught a wave in and during my paddle back out, the shark was visible swimming behind a wave that was ready to break. I was at least 30+ feet away. Shark was swimming calmly and smooth, the wave broke and that was it. I went back out and surfed another hour. No more sightings. The shark appeared to be about 6 feet in length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Newport Harbor On Septenber 24, 2011 Captain Trevor Z. (Last name withheld) reported the following; I'm a rescue captain out of Newport Harbor and had to respond to a distressed vessel last night (Sept 24) at roughly 2130 hours. The vessel was located just out of the entrance and 500 yards abeam of the tip of the West jetty, just due North of the wedge. The water was 80 feet deep. There was approx 100 other vessels engaged in fishing for Humboldt Squid that have been showing up in extremely large numbers recently. In my past experiences with Humboldt's, I've always caught them in deeper water about a mile out. The reports I'm receiving are that they are being caught near the surface, just off the shoreline. The mariners I assisted advised me that they heard a commercial vessel announce that they had a large White Shark aside their vessel. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pismo Beach On September 24, 2011 Peter Howorth, Marine Mammal Center, Santa Barbara, and several news agencies, reported the following; CAL Fire officials issued shark warnings for several San Luis Obispo County beaches following the sighting of at least two large sharks. Pismo Beach fire spokeswoman Jane Schmitz says beaches will remain open but residents should use caution and be aware during ocean activities. Warnings will be posted for five days between State Parks, Shell Beach, Pismo Beach and Cayucos. A 12-foot-long grey shark was sighted 100 yards from shore at 9:15 AM, Saturday (Sept 24), near the Dolphin Bay Hotel. Then Monday (Sept 26) morning, a kayaker told fire officials he saw a dark grey dorsal fin, about two feet wide, off the coast of Esparto Avenue and Ocean Boulevard in Shell Beach. Also on Monday a large shark was observed eating a seal near Cayucos. Fire officials say both sightings are considered credible. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Lincoln City, OR On September 24, 2011 the following unconfimred report was received by the SRC; It was 9:30 AM with a partly cloudy sky and air and water temperatures estimated at 57 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. I was surfing in rather large surf at Lincoln City, Oregon when I observed a commotion about 150 yards from shore. I saw a seal pop out of the water and it was not graceful like I've seen many times before. It looked like it was pushed out of the water. About a minute later I saw the head of a shark poking up out of the water from the nose to a little past the eye. It was about 25 yards away, just outside of the breaks, and appeared to be looking at me. I'm not sure if it was actually feeding but I'm assuming that it was at least involved with the seal. I immediately paddled back to shore and rode a wave in. The sighting was brief but appeared to be a white shark based on images that I've seen. I did not see a fin so I have no idea how large it was. The head wasn't gigantic but was big enough for me to clearly see it and get me moving. For personal reasons I've not reported this to anyone else, verbally or written and would like to remain anonymous. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Venica Beach On September 24, 2011 KTLA News reported the following; "A group of beachgoers in Venice were captured on video Saturday morning as they tried to rescue a stranded baby Great White Shark. 'The rescuers were heroes,' said Elvia, as her camera captured surfers and other good Samaritans trying to lead the Great White back into the water. The shark can be seen swimming back out to sea at the end of the video." Click here:
Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee
Manhattan Beach On September 19, 2011 Heather Sung was walking along Manhattan Beach. It was about 4:30 PM with air and water temperatures estimated at 68 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. It was overcast with apparent areas of precipitation offshore and the sea surface was slightly choppy. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Sung reported; I was walking along Manhattan Beach when I saw a dark, 6-inch-tall dorsal fin cut through the waves about 5 or 6 feet from the tide-line. A dark silhouette, 5 6 feet in length, could be seen below the water's surface. I knew it was not the dorsal fin of a dolphin or porpoise, as it was too perfectly vertical and I observed it for about 2 or 3 minutes and no mammal surfaced for air. Being rather familiar with sharks, I would guess it to be either a Salmon Shark or a juvenile White Shark. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Capitola On September 18, 2011 Matthew Davault was fishing from a 13-foot Ocean Kayak Trident, 3 4 miles SSW of the Capitola Wharf. It was 1:00 PM and he had been on the water for about 7 hours. The sky was clear with a mild breeze. The water was 90 feet deep with visibility of more than 20 feet and an estimated temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Marine mammals were present in the area. Devault reported; I launched my open deck fishing kayak from the beach at Capitola village wharf at approximately 6:00 AM. I was targeting White Sea Bass (Atractoscion nobilis) in 80 100 feet of water which, at this location, is an estimated 3 4 miles offshore. By noon, I was riding a nice southeast drift from the prevailing breeze. At approximately 1:00 PM I was in 90 feet of water, drifting toward shore in a stern first trajectory. I had just completed urinating into the water. A large shark appeared and began following my drift in a zigzag pattern from the bow side of the kayak. The first 3 or 4 passes, the head of the shark was directly beneath my seat. It passed under my kayak, to about 4 or 5 feet off one side, then repeated this maneuver to the other side. This behavior was repeated throughout the entire encounter. The animal's movements were fluid and graceful. I had two lines deployed baited with whole squid, which I immediately cut to prevent entanglement. I then began back paddling away from the shark, trying not to agitate the water in the process. It followed me for what I estimate to be over 5 minutes, increasing the space between us and widening its zigzag until it was no longer visible. I then turned around and paddle forward into the wharf, and exited the water. The animal acted passively, and never touched the kayak, before it simply disappeared; still I was very uncomfortable and had to focus to remain calm. I estimate the shark to be about the length of my 13 foot kayak. It was dark on top and light below with a large black eye. It also had long pectoral fins which reminded me of the wings on jet plane. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Catalina Island On September 17, 2011 Scott Cassell completed his dive from Catalina Island to the beach in front of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. California Diver Magazine reported the following;At 6:15 PM Saturday, September 17, 2011, Scott Cassell arrived safely at Cabrillo Aquarium Beach in San Pedro Harbor after covering 30 miles in a single day of diving. He maintained an average depth of 20 30 from the water's surface. Using a computer controlled mixed gas rebreather, a DUI drysuit with an argon inflation system, 4th Element Halo 3D thermal protection, and dual Luminox dive watches, he completed the distance in less than 12 hours, after some technical issues delayed the planned 4:00 AM start time by several hours.Scott's journey was filmed by Global Reef to help raise awareness regarding the alarming state of our oceans. One of his primary missions during the dive was to attract as many sharks as possible to obtain an accurate estimate of how many sharks are still present in the area today. Sadly, at an interview on the beach just after surfacing, he said he didn't see a single shark over the 30 miles he covered. 'I saw 3 Mola Mola, 4 Sea lions, about 6 Dolphins and a huge school of sardines. But I didn't see a single shark and that breaks my heart. It's absolutely a tragedy.' Scott then reflected on his dives back in the 1980 ' s and 90 ' s, where he would often swim with 60 or more sharks on a single dive. Currently, it is estimated sharks are slaughtered at a rate of about 100 million a year worldwide more than 200,000 sharks a day. After answering questions about his incredible dive, Scott elaborated on the state of our oceans.Unfortunately, I'm the generation that has seen the ocean start to die. It's a reality. And not understanding this is not okay anymore. We need to think and be a good, responsible culture.' We've only explored 0.5% of the ocean habitat over 99% of the ocean is left to be explored. That's encouraging, inspiring and frightening. Because if we have systems failing in the ocean, and we don't understand how these systems work, how are we going to fix them'? California Diver Magazine will provide more in-depth coverage of the dive in a future issue. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla On September 17, 2011 Sofia Smallstorm, and 7 8 unidentified individuals, were swimming to the A buoy in La Jolla Cove. It was 2:30 PM and they had just started their swim toward the buoy. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 70 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and there was a mild breeze. The water was 10 feet deep over a rocky ocean floor with numerous fish and kelp grass in the protected marine preserve area. Water visibility was at least 10 feet as the bottom could be clearly seen from the surface. Two sea lions were observed in the area just prior to observing the sharks. Also, during the afternoon several large squid were observed by beachgoers and lifeguards drifting near shore and a few even became beached. Smallstorm reported; I set off with a group of 7 8 swimmers, all heading to the A buoy before branching off in different directions. I was the last to leave the shore, due to the cool water temperature. We had all been discussing the sighting of seven-gills that afternoon by another swimmer, who had seen a pair of them, approximately 6 feet in length, on her way to the 1/4-mile buoy. As I swam behind the other swimmers, I passed over the rocky bottom of La Jolla Cove. The water was very clear and I spotted two sea lions, one whitish and the other dark, swimming lazily underneath me cruising near the rocks. Then within seconds I saw a very long, lean greenish-gray shark with a long tail swimming below me in the same direction. I was about 30 yards from shore. It seemed to be very relaxed, cruising the bottom, just like the sea lions. I had not seen anything that long beneath me in the water before. I would estimate it to have been 7 or more feet. When our swimming group met up at the A buoy, I said I had seen a shark, and others called out that they had seen a shark as well. At the end of the swim, one member of the group reported that four of us had seen a shark while out swimming. Several had gone to the B buoy (half a mile out in the boat zone) and another had seen one in the caves, in a mere 3 feet of water. The length of the sharks ranged from 3 feet to the 7-foot shark that I saw. It was my first time seeing a seven-gill. I was surprised that it was so relaxed and not at all interested in me. This has been my observation about all the unusual sharks I have seen in the ocean -- having had three encounters now (not including leopard and sand sharks). Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla On September 17, 2011 Randy Kabitz and his companion were snorkeling at La Jolla Cove, La Jolla. It was 1:30 PM and they had been in the water about 60 minutes. The depth of the water varied from 8 30 feet with visibility from 25 40 feet. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 68 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear with little or no wind. The ocean floor was primarily sand with scattered areas of short statured kelp and sea grass. There were several Harbor Seals and California Sea Lions playfully swimming near the couple while they were in close proximity to the kelp forest. Many California Sea Lions were observed near the shore about 150 yards from their location. Kabitz reported; We were spooked while near the 1/4 mile yellow buoy by 2 harbor seals that were being too friendly. We were trying to give them room but they were chasing us. The more we swam away the more the seals swam up to us and were inches away. The seals left us alone when we exited the kelp forest. While the seals were chasing us we were moving quite fast (for humans). We were making a-lot of splashing as we tried to evade and keep an eye on our pursuers, but when the seals had fallen back we starting swimming at a normal relaxed swim. That's when we saw the first shark. It swam under us close to the bottom. It did a 1/4 turn and seemed to look at us as it swam off. It was about 7 feet long. We swam toward shore and didn't see it again. After a break on shore we decided to go out again and swam along the sea caves and cliffs. When we got to the kayaking group near the caves my I spotted two sharks, 7 8 feet in length, cruising under us near the bottom. They seemed to ignore us. We told the kayakers about them and headed back into the cove. When in the cove I told another snorkeler about the sharks. He said he just saw one in the cove. My girlfriend and I continued heading slowly to the shore while looking around at the sea life. When we were 25 feet from shore I was watching a particularly large sea bass when a fourth shark swam at me and curved away and swam out. I told the lady next to me a shark 5 feet in length was swimming under her. I followed the shark for 60 80 feet when it sped up and I lost it. I think the sharks were coming in because there were many large squid washing up on shore that day. I think they were attracted to the squid. My girlfriend and I decided they were Blue Sharks (Prionace glauca). Although I wouldn't rule-out soup fins, as I'm no expert. All the sharks seemed to mostly ignore people. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Cambria On September 11, 2011 Mark Garman and the Tribune of San Luis Obispo reported the following; A Great White Shark, 18 feet in length, was spotted in the waters near Cambria over the weekend, prompting officials to urge beachgoers to be on the lookout. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said that a 'credible sighting' had occurred around 3:00 PM about 50 yards off Leffingwell Landing. Officials posted shark warnings between Cambria and San Simeon, though beaches remained open. Cambria is about 35 miles northwest of San Luis Obispo about midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Three sharks were sighted in recent weeks in San Diego County, prompting authorities to close beaches as dozens of people lined the bluffs with cameras and binoculars hoping for a glimpse. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ocean Beach On September 8, 2011 Kiernan McGuire was surfing at Ocean Beach near Sloat Street in San Francisco. It was about 11:00 AM and he had been on the water about 20 minutes. It was overcast with a light fog. The sea was smooth with 3 5 foot waves. An undetermined number of dolphins had been observed in the area prior to the encounter. McGuire reported; I had just caught a wave and had paddled back out. I sat up on my board and looked for the next set. I then saw a large, triangular dorsal fin, about 1.5 feet high, cruising roughly parallel to shore which then turned slightly to head in my direction. I panicked for a moment and started paddling before turning around to wait for a wave and try to identify the location of the shark. I didn't see it again. I was the only surfer in the immediate area. I warned another surfer who was surfing further down the beach after I had gotten a wave in and was walking back to the parking lot. He said he had seen dolphins in the water earlier and that's probably what I had seen. However, I've seen plenty of dolphins while surfing. This didn't move through the water like a dolphin and the large triangular fin was quite distinctive. I didn't see the tail so wasn't able to get a sense of the length, but I'm confident I saw what was quite a large shark. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On September 7, 2011 Mike Navarro reported the following; Six of us decided to meet up at SanO, Trail 5, on Wednesday, Sept 7th before going to a three day Real Estate Convention down in San Diego. We had a great session with perfect conditions: glassy water, nice waves, warm weather, good buddies, and no one else out in the water but us. The only sign of life we saw was the Destroyer about a mile off shore shooting practice rounds at San Clemente Island. Within minutes after a life guard drove by in a jeep, we had our encounter. At around 9:00AM, the shark, 7 8 feet in length, slowly slithered literally within inches of all of us. It was between sets and the water was absolutely calm and clear. We have experienced many dolphin swimming next to us but this was absolutely frightening. We all froze and our instincts told us to be calm. No one yelled or panicked. Its rate of speed was so slow it seemed like he was observing us for 10 minutes. It decided to head directly at Erwin and we calmly told him to lift his feet off the board, there was a shark under him. It was a scary moment, but one that really made you respect their presence. We waited until we couldn't see it and all paddled out of the water....just in case. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manzanita, OR On September 1, 2011 Patricia Cirone, Dana Davoli, and Judi Schwarz reported the following; We observed a young stressed shark floundering in shallow water on the beach in Manzanita, Oregon this morning at about 11:30 AM. As the tide was rising the shark appeared to recover and swam into the surf. We watched for about 15 minutes and sighted it one more time in shallow water where it finally disappeared. We are not sure if it continued to recover. This is a juvenile Salmon Shark, Lamna ditropis, a common species to the Pacific Northwest. Strandings by this species are not uncommon along the Pacific Coast of North America. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Sunset Beach On September 1, 2011 (?) Mike Kessler reported the following; Location: Sunset Beach at PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) South of Gladstone's Restaurant. Can't recall for sure but I think it was Thursday (Sept 1) morning around 7:00 AM and there must have been 100 surfers in the water. It was super overcast with an incoming tide. Then boom! An 8 foot White Shark breached, went horizontal, and appeared to swallow a bird, according to a few of us present. It was maybe 3 feet above the water and it was NOT a dolphin. It was maybe 50 yards past where the waves were breaking. A bunch of people saw it and yelled, Whoa!!! But, no one got out of the water. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Monterey Bay On August 31, 2011 Montery Bay Aquarium issued the following statement; "For the sixth time since 2004, our husbandry team has successfully brought a juvenile great white shark from the wild to temporarily reside in the million-gallonOpen Sea' exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He was collected by our team in a purse seine net in waters near Malibu, and arrived at the Aquarium August 31. The young shark, a four-foot, seven-inch male, weighs 43.2 pounds. As with the white sharks who came before, we hope he'll be an ambassador for his species while here. We want to encourage more people to learn about the plight of sharks, and be moved to take action to protect them in the wild. The first white shark was with us for 6 ½ months; the second, for 4 ½ months; the third, for 5 months; the fourth, for 11 days; and the fifth, for over 2 months. All were successfully returned to the wild. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla On August 31, 2011, Maurice Luque of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department reported; A two-mile stretch of water was closed to the public after lifeguards received reports of a dorsal fin sighting near the Children's Pool in La Jolla. The water one mile in each direction from Casa Reef will be off-limits for 24 hours. The San Diego Police Department's ABLE helicopter was being used to search the area. Three surfers and two boogie boarders reported seeing a 12-inch fin about 2 p.m. -- considered by lifeguards a 'credible sighting' -- prompting lifeguards to evacuate the area. This was the fifth beach closure in more than a week because of possible shark sightings. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pismo Beach On August 30, 2011 Nick Wilson of The Tribune of San Luis Obispo reported; Warning signs have been posted along Pismo Beach's waterfront after the fifth sighting of a great white shark in 31 days, reported County/Cal Fire. An experienced fisherman reported seeing a shark that appeared to be the color and length of a great white shark about 10 a.m. Tuesday on the north side of the Pismo Beach Pier. The shark was about 15 to 20 feet in length and was swimming where dolphins and seals had gathered, said Damien Juarez, a Cal Fire captain. Seals are attracted when bait fish swim in schools just offshore, and this time of year is typically when that occurs. The sharks are drawn to local waters by the seals, one of their prey species. Signs warning the public about the credible sighting have been posted at the beach and visitors may swim or recreate in the ocean at their own peril, Juarez said. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Cape Peretua, OR On August 27 & 30, 2011 Nolan West reported; Saturday, 27 August 2011, at approximately 2PM, I was driving South on 101 just North of Cape Peretua, on the central Oregon coast. Right before the cape you can see down in-between the trees to the Pacific Ocean. You're about 80 feet above the ocean; I was traveling around the turns at about 25 mph, thanks to the motor home in front of me. Not to fast so I got a good look. I saw a large and quite fat shark. It's hard to say, at first look it appeared to be 12 to 15 feet long, or the length of about 1/3 of my index finger positioned about 3 feet in front of my view. The shark was patrolling about 20 meters off the rocks, and was in what looked like clear shallow and protected water. I don't know of anyone who surfs in this area, but that looked like a big shark. Just today 30 August, a good friend of mine told me, he and a friend saw a shark in the lineup just North of Newport Oregon. It's that time of year, Heads Up. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee
San Onofre State Beach On August 27, 2011 Jeff Yehling was surfing Trail #2 at San Onofre State Beach. It was 1:00 PM and he had been on the water two hours. The sea had a light texture and was 8 10 feet deep over a sandy bottom with visibility of more than 10 feet and a temperature of 65 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The sky was clear with a light breeze and a temperature of 75 78 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Yehling reported; I was on my surfboard when I observed two sharks just cruising around right in and around the surf line. I first noticed them slowly moving just below the surface, and then noticed a fin slowly moving above the surface. When I left there were two other surfers that I saw in the parking lot as I was leaving. They asked me if I had seen the two sharks. They said they saw two of them as well and were pretty convinced that they were small white sharks. The sharks were 6 8 feet in length and grey in color. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On August 26, 2011 Alexander Marques was Stand Up Paddle Surfing at Trail 3, San Onofre State Beach. It was 11:45 AM and he had been on the water 2 hours. The sky was clear with the air temperature estimated at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with the water 6 8 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom. Water visibility was equal to the depth as the ocean floor could be seen from the surface. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Marques reported; When I saw the shark, I was standing on my board waiting for a wave. It had been about 15 minutes before my previous wave. The shark was moving very slowly as it passed by me headed in a southerly direction, approximately 3 4 feet below the surface. The shark was about 10 feet passed me, when it changed direction and headed toward the shore. That's when I decided to start paddling in. Luckily I was able to catch a small wave to shore. I reported it to the lady at the gate entrance. She said it was probably Fluffy' an adolescent White Shark. It was at least 6 feet in length, dark in color with a very wide/broad back. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Mission Beach On August 26, 2011 Tom Lochtefeld was surfing Mission Beach at 8:45 AM. He was in the same general area where the sighting occurred on Thursday, August 25. He observed a dorsal fin, about 14 inches high, approximately 50 feet from his location. The shark submerged and was not seen again. A two mile stretch of beach, extending from the South Jetty to Santa Clara Place, was closed on Thursday as a precautionary measure. It reopened Friday at 6:30 AM and was immediately closed again following the sighting by Lochtefeld. It is scheduled to reopen Saturday morning. The size of the dorsal fins observed in both sightings is suggestive of a sub-adult or adult white shark, at least 10 12 feet in length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Mission Beach On August 25, 2011 off-duty San Diego County Lifeguard Todd Rice observed a shark's dorsal fin, approximately 18 inches high, protruding from the water 100 yards off shore near tower 15 at Mission Beach, according to Lt. Nick Lerma. The shark came within 30 yards of the lifeguard as he rode a rescue board at 12:15 PM. Rice, a diver and spear fishermen, said; "I was scared. Obviously it was a pretty big fish. The fin was triangular in shape and gray color." He estimated the shark to be 10 15 feet in length and traveling in a northerly direction. Ashley Grauerholz, who works along the Mission/Pacific Beach Boardwalk, telephoned her husband, Blake, at 1:35 PM to inform him that helicopters were circling the area just offshore. Lifeguards asked about 200 swimmers to exit the water and the beaches were closed from 1 mile North to 1 Miles South of the sighting location, which is standard procedure. The helicopter circled the area for some time, but was unable to locate the shark. The beaches were schedule to reopen Friday morning, August 26. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Huntington Beach On August 24, 2011 The Los Angeles Times reported; The California Department of Fish and Game is investigating what it said was the illegal capture of a great white shark, reeled in from the Huntington Beach pier Monday. In a six-minute video posted on YouTube, a group of people can be seen struggling to pull the bloodied juvenile great white shark from the ocean. The faces of bystanders are not clear, though their voices are. Investigators from the agency said they seized the shark after receiving a tip from a bystander. A warden who was dispatched to the pier found the men in possession of the shark. The warden initially thought the fish was a mako shark and let the men go. After a second look, the warden realized that it was a great white and caught up with the men at the nearby Newport Beach Pier, where the shark was seized. Fish and Game Capt. Dan Sforza said the incident is under investigation, and that it is a misdemeanor in California to capture or possess a great white. Officials declined to identify the men who captured the shark, Sforza said. The department will forward the results of its investigation to the L.A. County District Attorney's office, which could file criminal charges." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla Cove On August 21, 2011 Vincent Seguin, accompanied by two unidentified divers, were performing a reef check survey at the one-quarter mile buoy in La Jolla Cove. It was 11:00 AM and they had been in the water about 30 minutes. The sea was calm and the water 40 feet deep with 30 feet of measured visibility. The ocean floor was comprised of a rocky reef with sparse kelp planets scattered throughout the area and a water temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A single harbor seal, (Phoca vitulina), was observed during the dive. It would come into their area and grab the measuring tape or the diver's swim fins. Seguin reported; My two diving companions and I were laying a transect line to survey fish, invertebrates, algae and substrate. We had planned to take two core and two fish transects when we spotted a sevengill shark, (Notorynchus cepedianus) , at beginning of the first fish transect. We stopped the transect to enjoy the sight and followed him slowly. The shark looked very relaxed, swam away slowly. No reaction to my presence. I was unrolling the transect line while shooting video of the area. See video at: http://vimeo.com/27997929 . Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Marina del Rey On August 18, 2011 Ed Barbosa, Bob Willis and Francziska Steagall were paddle boarding out of Marina del Rey at 8:00AM and heading into the swells outside the detached break wall. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 64 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. They had paddled for about one hour and were about 1.5 miles from shore. There was a light fog with the sea surface calm. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Francziska reported; We stopped at the S' buoy mark and sat up. We were about 1½ miles offshore. Eddie said Whoa!' We turned to see a big splash about 200 yards away. He said shark...we all looked, waited a few seconds and then a shark 10 15 feet in length leaped way out from the water a second time, did a back flip and half twist then back in it went. It was like seeing it in slow motion. First, your brain wants to think it's a dolphin, but the dolphin peg' doesn't fit into the shark hole. Then your brain confirms it's a shark, then the shark peg' fits into shark hole. Whoa! Seconds later, there it was a third time, propelling itself out of the water, 12 feet or more into the air, a vertical jump with a half turn, magnificently displaying it's power and agility! And you're thinking, wow, what's next? We didn't want to be next, so we paddled away from S' mark buoy, forever to be known as Shark Mark,' looking back a lot, thinking how fast and powerful of a creature that we had just witnessed. About 20 minutes after the breaching we were feeling more comfortable as we neared the marina. Then another large shark surfaced just as we passed the detached break wall. It reminded us they are everywhere at all times. The second shark swam towards us, heading South passing under our boards. It was headed towards an area usually populated by seals but none were present. Normally we see a lot of seals and sea lions but none today. The first shark was 10 15 feet in length, dark grey color on top and white belly with a defined line between the two colors. The second shark was large (girthy) with a dark colored back. We only saw a portion of the sharks back so it was not possible to gauge its length, but it seemed to be large. We have had other shark encounters at the buoy and break wall in the past. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Half Moon Bay On August 13, 2011 Ingrid L. Andreson reported the following; This morning at around 9:00 AM I encountered a Thresher Shark washed on shore at Surfer's Beach in Half Moon Bay. It looked like it had been bitten by something (round hole in its right side, cookie cutter like bite forward of its pectoral fin about 2 3 inches in diameter). Dead for a while, as the eyes were decomposing. It was about 2 feet long, excluding its tail, which was roughly the same length as its body. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Marina del Rey On August 8, 2011 Francziska Steagall was paddleboarding at Mother's Beach in Marina del Rey. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 70s Fahrenheit. The water was 1 4 feet deep with 3 5 feet of visibility. The water was calm with a sandy ocean floor. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Francziska reported; When we launch our paddleboards from Mother's Beach, or return from a paddle, we are very careful not to step on the hundreds of sting rays (Myliobatoidei) or Leopard Sharks (Triakis semifasciata) that congregate at this location . We paddle over the sharks and rays as they mingle and circle near the shore. We often paddle around and over them as they are very social, and not daunted by our presence. They are calm and often swim towards us. Never have they shown aggression towards us. This is the second year they have been at this beach. Last year I counted 45 at one time. They arrived 2 weeks ago. I even petted one once! Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On August 7, 2011 Mike Matz was surfing at Trail #1 San Onofre State Beach. It was 8:00 AM and he had been on the water about one hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 70 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Water depth was estimated at 20 feet with a glassy 3 foot SSW swell, and a smaller NW wind swell. The ocean floor is primarily sand with scattered rocks. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Matz recalled;While sitting on my board I heard a splashing noise and looked directly out to sea and saw the shark emerging from the water, directly vertical, as if it had just hit a fish or bird. The shark was fully airborne before crashing back to the water, making a large splash. The shark fully breach, about 50 75 yards outside of the surf break at Trail 1, or about 300 yards from shore. I could only see the bottom of the shark from my angle as it breached straight out of the water. The body was very wide and the bottom was flat and white. I believe it was a juvenile white shark about 6 feet in length. I did not see the shark at all before or after the breach." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pismo Beach On August 4, 2011 Cal Fire Battalion Chief Steve Reeder confirmed two additional shark sightings, one in the morning and the other late afternoon, about 200 yards South of the pier and 80 yards offshore at Pismo Beach. The shark is reported to be about 6 feet in length. This would bring the total to 5 such events over the past 6 days. Warning signs were posted at the beach last Saturday, when the first confirmed sighting was reported. The warning signs will remain posted through Sunday, according to Cal Fire. The Harbor District, Pismo Beach, and State Parks have a policy that if a credible shark sighting is reported to any of the agencies, the beaches are posted with warning signs for five days following the report. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Salem, Oregon On August 4, 2011 Governor John Kitzhaber signed House Bill 2838 banning the sale, trade and/or possession of shark fins. Oregon joins Hawaii and Washington that have passed similar legislation banning the possession of shark fins. Conservationists are currently hard at work on an agreement that would cover the territorial waters of the Pacific Coast of the United States and Canada. California is waiting for the State Senate to vote on AB 376 that would also ban shark fins. Finning is illegal in the waters of the United States, European Union, Canada, Australia and several other countries. It is illegal for any U.S. fishing boat to dock with shark fins that are not attached to the carcass. Currently, fins are imported to the U.S. from countries with less stringent protections. The fins are used for shark fin soup, which can cost as much as $400 a serving in restaurants. Research has determined the catastrophic declines in shark populations globally are the result of unregulated shark finning, which could threaten the oceans ecosystems, while encouraging the proliferation of other predators.
Montara State Beach On August 3, 2011 Jeff Clark, professional surfer and surf shop owner, had been surfing at the South end of Montara State Beach. It was 9:45 AM and he had been in the water for about 90 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was 10 feet deep over a sandy bottom with about 4 feet of visibility. The ocean floor at this location drops off to a depth of 100 feet within ¼ of a mile from shore. The sky was clear with a SW wind at 8 10 knots. The ocean swell was 5 feet at 7 10 seconds. Marine mammals were observed at Montara, Pescadero and Mavericks outside of the rocks. Clark reported; I had been surfing for 1 1/2 hours when my leash came off my ankle and I swam in. I decided not to go back out even after I had re-attached my leg rope. Got to the parking lot and was watching the surf when I saw the shark. I saw about 10 feet of the shark's back exposed, out of water. It was very distinctive. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pismo Beach On August 2, 2011 Journalist Cynthia Lambert of the Tribune News reported the following; A surfer had just dropped into a wave south of the Pismo Beach pier Tuesday afternoon when he looked down and spotted what appeared to be a large shark in the water beneath him. The surfer and his friend didn't waste any time in getting back to the beach to report the sighting about 2:30 p.m., Battalion Chief Steve Reeder of the Cal Fire/Pismo Beach Fire Department said Wednesday. They came in immediately,' he said.They were a little nervous.' Reeder interviewed the surfer and, based on his description, confirmed the sighting was credible. Warnings have been posted at the beach in Pismo Beach, and Reeder said he alerted State Parks officials at Oceano Dunes and Port San Luis Harbor District so they could post warnings in Oceano and Avila Beach. Officials said the beach will remain open. Signs warn beachgoers to swim at their own risk. The surfer said he saw a shark about 12 feet in length outside the surf line near the Pismo Beach pier. The surfers were located about 30 yards from the beach, and seals were reported in the area as well. Meanwhile, Pismo Beach police Sgt. Bryan Cox said a caller reported seeing a light-gray-colored fin at the end of the Pismo Beach pier about 3 p.m. Tuesday. Another credible shark sighting was reported Saturday, this one spotted by a surfer on the north side of the pier, Reeder said.This is the time of year it seems every year that we get a lot of shark sightings in the area,' Reeder said, up and down the coast.' The type of shark the surfers spotted is unknown. However, great white sharks often congregate in San Luis Obispo County waters at this time of year to feed on the profusion of seals and sea lions. Last September, state wildlife authorities told The Tribune that great white shark activity had increased notably. They noticed a jump last August and September in credible sightings and a larger-than-normal number of attacks on otters, particularly in the Morro Bay and Pismo Beach areas. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Huntington Beach On August 2, 2011 Tyler Daigler was surfing Dog Beach at Huntington Beach. It was 12:00 PM and air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Daigler reported; We were surfing at Dog Beach, maybe 900 yards North of Tower 24. We were in about 5feet of water as I was teaching my brother from New York how to surf. I was laying on my board when I noticed a frenzied group of birds on the surface of the water almost directly in front of Tower 24, about 300 yards out. A shark approximately 7 8 feet in length, as far as I could judge, completely breached out of the water, 4 5 feet above the surface. The shark was grey in color and appeared to be a juvenile White Shark. The knowledge I've gained from surfing regular in Huntington Beach confirms this was no dolphin or other large fish. The movement of the animal in the air, along with its complete disorientation when out of the water was that obvious of a shark. We stayed for another half hour hoping to see he shark again but did not. Pleases report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ocean Beach On July 31, 2011 Jason S (last name withheld) was surfing at Ocean Beach near Lawton Street, San Francisco. It was 6:30 PM and he had been on the water about 30 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 60s Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Jason S reported; I was surfing alone at Lawton Street and was about 100 yards offshore. The weather was overcast and the water was bumpy. I heard a splash about 20 yards to my left and glanced over. There were birds above the splash and so I thought it was a bird diving for fish. A few seconds later a dorsal fin emerged from the water about 10 15 feet directly in front of me cruising parallel to shore. Only about six inches of the fin was exposed but I was close enough to know that it was definitely not a dolphin. The back of the fin had a straight, serrated edge. I couldn't see a shadow or tail fin so I couldn't tell the size/length of the fish. I waited for what I think was 30 60 seconds before I turned to paddle in. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla Shores On July 31, 2011 Daniel Vandruff reported the following;I saw a White Shark about 6 1/2 feet in length while surfing in La Jolla Shores, Sunday at about 8:20 AM. I'm 17 years old visiting from Costa Rica and it was the scariest thing I have ever seen. It went right under my legs and at first I thought it was just a kelp bed, but then I saw the fish to my right going crazy and as I laid on my board, the giant girthy fish swam underneath me about 4 feet away from my body. It was quite black and I got a very good view of it, I saw the whole thing, the water was clear and about 63 degrees while the air was 72 degrees. I swam straight out after I saw it and screamed White Shark! White Shark, get the f**k out of the water!' Nobody believed me but I got out and realizing what I just saw I reported it to the lifeguards and they didn't even care. However, as I went to go change I saw a large thrashing fin pop out right about where I was and fish were going crazy. Some people saw it and got out immediately. I'm not sure what it was chasing, but there were some bait fish and we saw a couple of seals in the area swimming around us. So that's the possible reason. It was very close to shore and there was only about 8 feet of water below me. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Surfers Beach On July 29, 2011 Brian Bruce was surfing at Surfers Beach (Pelican Point) at the Pt. Mugu Naval Base. It was 8:30 AM and he had been on the water about 90 minutes. The sky was clear and there was a mild breeze with air and water temperatures in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. Water visibility was 4 5 feet with the depth between 10 20 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Bruce recalled;I was surfing from around 7:00 AM. There weren't a lot of good waves so I spent a good deal of time on my board waiting. Around 8:00 AM I noticed a school of baitfish, I think they were Pacific Mackerel (Scomber japonicas), swimming East to West under my board. Around a half hour later I saw a larger fish swimming slowly in the same direction as the bait fish. I couldn't make out what it was the first time. A few minutes later it passed again but wasn't swimming as deep. It was a 6 7 feet long, dark back and thickly built shark. I got my feet out of the water and quickly but calmly paddled toward shore. I signaled the few other surfers in the area. There are no life guards at the beach as it is private for military and their guests. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carlsbad State Beach On July 29, 2011 Scott Vorreyer was surfing at Carlsbad State Beach. It was 8:30 AM and he had been on the water about one hour. The sky was overcast with an estimated temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea was calm with an estimated temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the surf 1 3 feet. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Vorreyer reported;I was surfing before work at Carlsbad State Beach (near primary ranger station). On 2 occasions I thought I felt something brush past my feet while waiting for waves. Walking down the beach after surfing I saw a group of campers running toward the water line. I ran over to see what was happening and I saw what I thought was a large fish flopping at the water's edge. From about 6 feet away I could tell this was not just a fish but a baby Great White Shark about 2 to 2.5 feet long. It appeared he had been caught by the surf and pushed up on to the shore. He was thrashing about. He actually looked kind of cute with his very large eyes. I was about ready to try to grab him and pull him back into the water but he flipped over and I could see all his sharp teeth! I used my surfboard to prevent the waves from driving him farther up the beach. Two campers tried to use a towel to pull him out towards the water. They eventually got the shark onto the towel where it calmly waited while they carried him out into the water and they tossed him in about a foot of water and it proceeded to head right back at us! It then turned around and gracefully swam out towards the open ocean. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Bolsa Chica Inlet On July 25, 2011 Matthew Cain was walking across the Bolsa Chica Inlet Bridge. It was 4:00 PM with a clear sky and a 10 knot West wind. The water was about 10 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with visibility equal to the depth. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Cain reported the following;After playing in the shallows of Dog Beach for two hours, my family began heading North over the Bolsa Chica Inlet Bridge to get back to our vehicle. When looking down into the water, we witnessed a Leopard Shark (Triakis semifasciata), about 6 feet in length, working the bottom from North to South, in a sweeping manner, as the tide began moving out of the inlet and back into the sea. It stayed in the area for about seven to ten minutes and gathered quite a crowd of onlookers traveling over the bridge. The shark then continued under the bridge and vanished into the inlet. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Clemente On July 24, 2011 Casey Konzelman was longboard surfing 204s' in San Clemente, which is j ust South of North Beach. It was 2:00 PM and he had been on the water 90 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 70s Fahrenheit. The sky was clear with the ocean waves 1 3 feet with slight wind texture. The water was 5 6 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom. Konzelman reported;I was paddling back out after catching a wave. Once I got back into the lineup I sat and waited for the next set, probably about 10 minutes. I felt a few small fish bounce off my dangling feet. I looked and observed a fast moving school of small baitfish traveling in a North direction. About 2 minutes later I looked down again as a dark gray silhouette passed gracefully under my board, turned slightly, and basically did a small loop off the nose of my board came back, went under again, then continued North and disappeared. All while this happened I elevated my arms and legs from the water and observed the shark swim below with its tail slowly moving in a side to side motion. The shark was dark in color, with a wide body girth, and an estimated length of 6 7 feet. I know quite a bit about sharks, and would highly bet this was a juvenile White Shark. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Loon Point On July 23, 2011 Ian Mather was Stand Up Paddleboarding 200 300 yards from shore at Loon Point, located at the mouth of Toro Canyon Creek between Summerland and Carpinteria near Santa Barbara. It was 1:00 PM and he had been on the water 30 minutes. The sky was clear and the sea calm with 5 6 feet of water visibility over an estimated depth of 30 40 feet with a temperature in the low 60s Fahrenheit. Air temperature was estimated at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Mather reported; I was paddling from Summerland Beach to Santa Clause Lane Beach. It was a calm mellow paddle. The shark was observed when a friend jumped in the water to cool down. The shark was following us swimming calmly with no aggressive behavior. We followed it for a couple minutes before it swam under us in the other direction. It seemed like it was checking us out but wanted nothing to do with us. It was 6 8 feet in length and dark grey in color. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla Shores On July 22, 2011 Sandra Yune, Frank Uotani, and Bill Moffat were diving at La Jolla Shores. The time was 9:00 PM and they had been in the water about 15 minutes. The equipment consisted of two divers wearing wet suits and one a dry suit. All had low red chem lights' attached to their BC's. All three had dive lights, two white lights and one yellow light. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 65 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 40 feet deep with a sandy ocean bottom near the canyon with 10 15 feet of visibility. Bat rays and inshore fishes were observed in the area, but no marine mammals. Yune reported;Prior to our dive we had planned to go out to the canyon and scan for a leisure dive. On the way down and swimming toward the canyon we encountered bay rays and different types of fish. As we reached about 40 feet, one dive buddy signaled to stop as he spotted a shark in the distance. The shark was about 15 feet from our location. We shined our dive lights at the shark to get a better look. It first was heading north and had very slow movement. Once we begun to shine our lights it turned around and headed south and we did not see it after that. Once we realized that it was a shark we then turned around and headed for shallow waters. Around 18 feet one of my dive buddies spotted a shark which looked similar to the one we have seen at the canyon. He then signaled to surface and we both headed back to shore as we were all spooked. We do not know if it was the same shark or if many other sharks were around. It was hard to tell as it was at night. The shark was about 6 feet in length with spots covering its skin. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Ocean Beach On July 20, 2011 Myung K. was surfing at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, almost opposite Beach Chalet. It was about 8:30 AM and he had been on the water 45 minutes. The sky was clear with air and water temperatures estimated in the low 60s and 50s Fahrenheit, respectively. The ocean was calm with decent swells for good small to midsized surf. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Myung reported; I was waiting on my board for a set, looking outbound when slightly to my left, perhaps 10 o'clock and about 25 yards away, I saw a fairly large triangle fin a good foot to foot and a half and part of the sharks brownish back exposed from the trough of an incoming swell. It was moving perpendicular to me, cruised under the incoming swell and disappeared. I don't recall much water thrashing when the shark broke the surface. I'd seen birds dive into the ocean for baitfish previously. I waited for seconds, registering that I had seen a shark, looked at the other surfers around me then saw a decent wave to catch back to shore perhaps minutes later. The shark had a very large dorsal fin, light and water shimmered on the back end of the shark, which was visible slightly out of the swell for a moment. In the light, and water, the shark looked brownish and I would guess 8 feet in length from my perspective. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Laguna Beach On July 19, 2011 Chris Lacher was Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) between Thalia Reef and Hakama Reef, in Laguna Beach. It was 7:15 PM and he had been on the water 20 minutes. The sky was clear and the sea calm with a slight bump to the water, and 1 2 foot swells. The water was 8 10 feet deep over a reef bottom with long sea grass scattered throughout the area. Water temperature was estimated at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Lacher reported; I was paddling southbound parallel to the shoreline roughly 30 yards from the beach with my friend Kirt. With polarized sunglasses I had visibility up to 6 feet in depth. On the port side I saw the shark 4 feet below the surface. The shark was cruising northbound and we crossed paths between Thalia Reef and Hakama. I remained calm, notified Kirt of the sighting, and we kept paddling. We stopped for a break near Brooks Street and sat on our SUP's, making sure we didn't dangle our feet in the water. When I saw the shark I was looking straight down on it from standing on my SUP. It was solid light grey in color with no dark blotches. I wasn't able to see the underside of the shark, roughly 4 5 feet in length. It didn't have a long Thresher-like caudal fin. It had the outline and overall appearance of a small Great White, very calm temperament, slowly moving northbound. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Laguna Beach On July 19, 2011 Jacob Kosowsky was wading in the surf at Laguna Beach near Main Street. It was about mid-afternoon and he had been in the water 90 minutes. The sky was clear with air and water temperatures estimated at 75 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sea was calm and the water about 4 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with excellent water visibility of 25 feet or more. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Kosowsky reported;I was wading in water at my shoulder level, lightly bouncing off the bottom to keep my head above the water. A set wave rolled in and I spotted the shark swimming slowly south, parallel to shore. I estimate the shark was about 3 feet in length. I kept calm and still, the shark passed about 15 feet away from me and continued swimming south. I exited the water immediately thereafter. UPDATE July 20, Robert Wynn reported; The juvenile Salmon Shark that you and I spoke about last night washed ashore and died overnight. The shark was delivered to Daniel T. Stetson of the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. The California Department of Fish and Game picked up the dead shark for further study. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Laguna Beach On July 18, 2011 Robert Wynn and his daughter, Kailyn, were at Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach, located in southern Orange County. It was between 12 3 PM with air and water temperatures estimated at 75 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sea was calm with the water 4 6 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom and more than 20 feet of underwater visibility. They had been in the water about 1 hour. A Harbor Seal and California Sea Lion were observed in the area. Wynn reported the following; I was teaching my daughter to boogie board in the surf. We observed more than a dozen Leopard Sharks and numerous fishes while in the surf. We spotted a larger shark in about four feet of water. The shark appeared to be a newborn, 2.5 3 feet in length, with a black top and white bottom. It was chasing bait fish that were in the area (Anticipated grunion spawns were July 15 18). The shark was also being harassed by a sea lion and harbor seal. The shark washed up on shore once, but was carefully and promptly returned to the water. The shark did not show aggression and appeared uninterested in the swimmers. The shark in question was a Salmon Shark, Lamna ditropis , which has been observed in the area over the past two days. It is a close relative of the White Shark and it is not uncommon for this species to be found close inshore this time of year. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla Cove On July 17, 2011 Mitch Thrower reported the following;This afternoon, when I went on my run with Amanda, we stopped by the cove and were stretching. This was about 2:00 PM, 2 hours ago, we saw two divers come up the stairs who just came back from the buoys under the swimmers in La Jolla Cove. They said they saw a 6+ foot Great White. They reported it to the La Jolla Cove lifeguards and the lifeguards radioed someone, but nothing happened, everyone is still swimming. Also, yesterday, July 16, there was a report of a 16 foot Great White off of the Children's Pool. The US Coast Guard helicopter was circling for a while, but we did not see it anywhere on the news. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Malibu Lagoon On July 10, 2011 Nick Woolard was surfing west of Malibu Lagoon near Surfrider State Beach. It was 8:00 AM and he had just entered the water. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the low 60s Fahrenheit. There were low clouds and a mild breeze with the sea surface glassy. The swells were 3 4 feet over a sandy ocean floor with scattered rocks. Water was 10 feet deep with 10 15 feet of visibility as the bottom could be seen clearly from the surface. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Woolard recounted; I paddled out to surf in front of Malibu Colony just west of Surfrider Beach in Malibu. After passing the breaking surf I sat up to rest at which point I saw what looked like a shark breach 200 yards out to sea from my location. I focused on the area looking for a pelican or something else that could have made the splash. About 30 seconds after the initial breach the shark breached again. I could clearly see the tail and extra fins in the back to confirm that it was not a dolphin. Given the distance it is hard to estimate the length of the shark but it seemed to be 6 8 feet in length. I mentioned the sighting to other surfers but no one seemed concerned enough to leave the water. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Balboa Beach On July 8, 2011 Marc Cartier reported the following;On BD Outdoors, a fishing website, there is a posting July 8 describing the loss of a fresh dead 5 foot Thresher Shark at or near the location of the sighting of the 15 foot Great White off of Balboa. It is possible the 5 foot Thresher Shark was "chum" for the 15 foot Great White. Additionally I witnessed last Saturday, 100 yards off Corona del Mar, the cleaning of a caught Thresher Shark. It would seem this practice could draw a large predator near shore. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Balboa Beach On July 8, 2011 Lynn Thompson was using a spotting scope observing dolphins and boats 100 yards North of her location near Tower B at Balboa Beach in Orange County. It was 6:00 PM when Thompson reported;I was using a spotting scope watching dolphins and boats near Tower B on Balboa Beach. I noticed a lot of birds in the area near where a boat had been anchored but had left. I noticed a very large, what I thought at first was a dolphin but it was still in the water. It had a huge dorsal fin that was perfectly visible in my scope. The back of the fin was serrated. I thought to myself that does not look like a dolphin dorsal fin. It was not swimming like a dolphin. The top of the shark's body was grey the dorsal fin was also grey with a serrated back edge. The shark was about 15 feet long and almost stationary in the water with most of the top of its body exposed. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On July 7, 2011 Scott Herson was surfing at San Onofre State Beach. It was about 6:35 AM and he had been on the water for 30 minutes. The sky was clear with the air temperature estimated at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea conditions were clean with a light offshore breeze and 1 3 foot waves at low tide.' The water was 6 8 feet deep over a cobble stone rock reef with kelp and sea grass and an estimated water temperature of 69 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Herson reported;I was out with two other guys around at The Point' when an odd looking large, narrow, dark fin was swimming perpendicular to the beach and towards me, about 40 yards out from where I was sitting in the lineup. It disappeared and I shrugged it off figuring I was just imagining things. I remained curious however because in the same area a Pelican was floating in the water and occasionally popping up off the water as if something was below. Five minutes later, 6:40 AM-ish, at about 200 yards out from shore, between The Point' and Old Man's,' an 8 10 juvenile Great White breached the water, jumping full into the air. Its white belly, dark blue/grey top and meaty body was obviously that of a shark and other surfers agreed, unmistakable. It resembled a Great White and is consistent with the description of other sightings over the past few years. Funny enough, nobody really cared. I hung around until about 7:10 AM but did not see the shark again. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On July 2, 2011 Nick Daruty and Andrew Villegas were kayaking fishing off San Onofre State Beach near Trail 3. It was 2:15 PM and they had been on the water about 1.5 hours. The sky was clear with air and water temperatures estimated at 78 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 20 25 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with the ocean swells 1 2 feet. No dominant kelp or marine mammals were observed in the area. Two Spanish Mackerel (Scomber australasicus) had been caught on rod and reel prior to the encounter. Daruty reported; Around 1:00PM We Andrew Villegas and I launched our kayak from shore and paddled out about 700 yards and began fishing. After about 30 minutes, I dove in and began diving in search of halibut on the sea floor. I returned to kayak and we continued fishing catching two Spanish Mackerel. At 2:15PM we decided to head in for lunch. While paddling in closer to the surf zone we saw a dark gray shadow swim past the kayak on the right side just below the surface. Then the shark circled back along the left side of the kayak. The shark was dark grey in color with its top dorsal fin just below the surface. It was approximately 6 ½ to 7 feet long with a distinctive snout and triangular dorsal fin. When we got to shore I immediately reported the sighting to the lifeguards on duty. The lifeguards stated that a juvenile Great White Shark was sighted at that same beach just a few days earlier and it was probably the same one. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Zuma Beach On July 2, 2011 Sam (last name withheld) reported the following; At 11:30 AM I was at Zuma Beach surfing alone by lifeguard tower #30 about 40 yards from shore. There were surfers spread out to my left and right, but none closer than 20 yards. I think there is also the main Lifeguard Station there too. In fact, the Lifeguard boat was parked directly out from where I was sitting in the water. It was about a 4 foot high tide. I was zoned out, waiting for a wave to come my way when a fin, gray that faded to black towards the tip, surfaced about 15 yards in front of me. I knew right away that this was not a dolphin. I stayed calm, and watched its shadow as it glided past me, slowly heading west up the coast. Once it had passed me a ways, I knelt on my board to check it out. It was about 6' long and gray in color. Its movement as it swam was snakelike. Hard to make out what kind of shark it was because of its distance from me. It swam west and seemed to keep about the same parallel line from shore. I got out about half hour later. I informed a lifeguard as I headed to the showers. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Playa del Rey Beach On July 1, 2011 Damian Mendez and Ian Skjervem were bodyboarding 35 40 yards from shore at Gillis, Playa del Rey Beach. The beach is located between Marina del Rey to the North and El Segundo to the South. It was 5:30 PM and they had been on the water for 2 hours. Air and water temperatures were estimated to be 80 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sea was 2 3 feet and 5 6 feet deep with like visibility as the sandy ocean floor was easily seen from the surface. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Mendez reported;Ian and I had been catching sets about every 15 20 minutes. We had caught a wave and were sitting and talking when I noticed a shark's dorsal fin, dark grey 1 2 feet high, about 15 feet further out and 10 feet South of our location. I could see the silhouette of the shark, which was 9 10 feet in length. After a few moments the fin disappeared. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla Cove On June 27, 2011 Erin (last name withheld) reported the following; I swam on Monday, June 27, and got to the cove a little before 10:30 AM. Walking down the hill my friend and I didn't see anything just a bunch of seaweed. When we got to the level with the lifeguard tower to check the daily information on the water visibility and temperature they had a warning about the seaweed. My friend and I started our swim heading towards the 1/4 mile buoy but had to swim to the right a bit to swim between these two patches, it was closer to the rock than we normally swim. We swam up to a lady who was just sitting there and when we picked up our heads to say hello, she stated there was a dead seal right there. It was within 5 10 yards from us. It looked to be stuck in the seaweed. When we finished our swim I ran into a friend who was also swimming and she stated the dead seal had been there a few days and there is a huge bite mark. Walking up the hill you can see it but if you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't know. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On June 24, 2011 Doug Green was surfing Four Doors' at San Onofre State Beach. It was 1:30 PM and he had been on the water 1.5 hours. He was 300 meters from shore over a rocky bottom 10 15 feet deep. Air and water temperatures were estimated in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. It was overcast with a mild 10 mph breeze and choppy seas with waves about 5 feet. Green reported the following; While resting between waves sitting upright on my board, a shark suddenly jumped onto and across my surfboard. At first I thought it must be a dolphin, but noticed gill slits in the water and a broad dorsal fin near my face. The shark thrashed to free itself and cleared my board. The board is 23 inches wide and the front of the shark and the rear of the shark were off the board and in the water at least one foot on each side. The entire episode lasted approximately 3 4 seconds. I did not see the shark again. The shark was approximately 5 feet in length, dark gray/black upper and light gray/white lower. There were at least 4 surfers within 10 meters, and at least 2 facing me when it happened. One commented it looked like a juvenile Great White. I reported it to the lifeguard at the station labeled Old Mans' who listened politely but made no report to my knowledge. Any physical contact between a shark and a human, or a piece of equipment being used in an ocean activity by the human, constitutes an unprovoked shark attack if the subject did not make a provocative action toward the shark causing it to strike out. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Tamarack State Beach On June 21, 2011 Jordan Rushworth was surfing at Tamarack State Beach in Carlsbad. It was 2:00 PM and he had been on the water about 1 hour. The sky was overcast with the temperature about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was calm, 6 8 feet deep, with like visibility, a dark sandy bottom and a temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Rushworth reported; I'm learning how to surf so I stayed on the inside, about 75--150 feet from shore. I was about 40 feet from the jetty when I noticed a single strand of kelp floating on the surface. While looking at the strand of kelp a shark surfaced next to the kelp and start swimming slowly toward my location. When it was about 2 feet from me I slapped the water and the shark departed. The shark was dark in color and 3 4 feet in length. I freaked, turned and paddled in. I told my Dad, who was watching us, and then went back out with my friend for another hour. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Point Dume State Beach On June 20, 2011 Sebastian Feldman and Damian Zrzyska were swimming at Point Dume State Beach located North of Malibu. It was about 5:30 PM under a cloudless sky when they entered the water for their swim. Feldman reported; My friend and I (poor swimmers) were floating about 20 yards from shore. We saw a couple of dolphins that were about 30 yards from shore, traveling from the North to the South. About 20 30 minutes later, around 6:00 PM, we saw a seal that drew very close to us, within about 10 yards. The seal barked at us for a couple of minutes before moving on. About 5 minutes later I saw a fin, 1 2 feet high and grayish/blue in color. It surfaced for a very short time and was perpendicular to the shore line. I thought it may have been attempting to flank either the pair of dolphins we saw or the seal. I noticed that the dolphin fins seemed to be darker in color. After a few moments the fin disappeared and was not observed again. I was wearing green swim trunks and no jewelry and my friend was wearing white swim trunks. Earlier in the day we witnessed another seal and multiple dolphins about 4:00 PM, two hours or so before we swam. When I observed the fin I immediately asked my friend Damian to swim back to shore. He was swimming 10 yards further out from me and I was about 20 yards offshore. There was a lifeguard truck present but we did not report the sighting thinking it interesting but unimportant. Also, about 10 minutes after observing the fin a pelican dove into the water in the same area. It took off and circled the area a couple times then settled back on the water. By this time we were both on shore. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Huffpost Green On June 20, 2011 Journalist Travis Donovan, of Huffpost Green, summarized State Of The Ocean: 'Shocking' Report Warns Of Mass Extinction From Current Rate Of Marine Distress. If the current actions contributing to a multifaceted degradation of the world's oceans aren't curbed, a mass extinction unlike anything human history has ever seen is coming, an expert panel of scientists warns in an alarming new report. The preliminary report from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) is the result of the first-ever interdisciplinary international workshop examining the combined impact of all of the stressors currently affecting the oceans, including pollution, warming, acidification, overfishing and hypoxia.
The findings are shocking," Dr. Alex Rogers, IPSO's scientific director, said in a statement released by the group. "This is a very serious situation demanding unequivocal action at every level. We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime, and worse, our children's and generations beyond that."
The scientific panel concluded that degeneration in the oceans is happening much faster than has been predicted, and that the combination of factors currently distressing the marine environment is contributing to the precise conditions that have been associated with all major extinctions in the Earth's history. According to the report, three major factors have been present in the handful of mass extinctions that have occurred in the past: an increase of both hypoxia (low oxygen) and anoxia (lack of oxygen that creates "dead zones" ) in the oceans, warming and acidification. The panel warns that the combination of these factors will inevitably cause a mass marine extinction if swift action isn't taken to improve conditions.
The report is the latest of several published in recent months examining the dire conditions of the oceans. A recent World Resources Institute report suggests that all coral reefs could be gone by 2050 if no action is taken to protect them, while a study published earlier this year in BioScience declares oysters as "functionally extinct" their populations decimated by over-harvesting and disease. Just last week scientists forecasted that this year's Gulf "dead zone" will be the largest in history due to increased runoff from the Mississippi River dragging in high levels of nitrates and phosphates from fertilizers.
A recent study in the journal Nature,' meanwhile, suggests that not only will the next mass extinction be man-made, but that it could already be underway. Unless humans make significant changes to their behavior, that is. The IPSO report calls for such changes, recommending actions in key areas: immediate reduction of CO2 emissions, coordinated efforts to restore marine ecosystems, and universal implementation of the precautionary principle so "activities proceed only if they are shown not to harm the ocean singly or in combination with other activities." The panel also calls for the UN to swiftly introduce an "effective governance of the High Seas."
"The challenges for the future of the ocean are vast, but unlike previous generations we know what now needs to happen," Dan Laffoley of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and co-author of the report said in a press release for the new report. "The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now, today and urgent."
Laguna Beach On June 13, 2011 Laura Baddgor and her husband were swimming and playing in the surf at Divers Cove, Laguna Beach. It was 2:30 PM and they had been in the water about 1 hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 75 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and the sea calm with the water 6 10 feet deep over a sandy bottom with large rocks scattered throughout the area. Baddgor reported; My husband was floating out in the water snorkeling, while I was playing in the waves with my children. My husband said he saw a shark and wanted me to identify it. I came out a little bit but the shark was pretty quick. It stayed on the bottom and swam towards the shore and then swam back out. The others that we saw after that were just swimming back and forth a bit horizontal to the shore. They pretty much ignored us unless we got to close then they swam away. All 3 were about 4 feet long and dark grey in color on their back. I could not see the underside as they were swimming along the bottom. A short time after we saw the sharks, we saw a harbor seal and 2 dolphins which were darker in color. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Patrick's Point State Park On June 13, 2011 O'Neal Jones was walking along the beach just South of Patrick's Point State Park, which is located 25 miles North of Eureka and 56 miles South of Crescent City, California. It was about 12:00 PM. Jones reported the following; I found two dead sea lions on the beach just South of Patrick's Point State Park. One of the sea lions had tooth marks across its back and the other had been there a while longer and I wasn't sure if the injury it had sustained was from a shark or not. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Del Mar On June 12, 2011 Jenny Beyler and an unidentified companion were walking along the beach at Del Mar, in San Diego County, when they observed the following; We found a dead seal on the beach near 6th Street in Del Mar. There was an obvious bite out of its underside. Although it was already starting to decompose, you could still see the teeth marks in the skin around the bite. The wound was about 1 foot across and went deep enough to show the spine. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Torrey Pines Beach On June 11, 2011 Mike Weber was surfing fishing North of Lifeguard Tower # 7 at Torrey Pines Beach in San Diego County. It was 10:00 AM with a cloudy sky and an air temperature in the low 60s Fahrenheit. Weber reported; I was surf fishing from the beach with a friend. He told me a shark was on the beach. I went to look and saw the young thresher on its side obviously dead. The lifeguard was soon there to tow it away. The shark was a juvenile thresher shark about 6 feet total length. It appeared to have been there for a few days at least. Its eye was missing on the left side, did not check the other side. No other signs of trauma. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
La Jolla On June 6, 2011 Michael Bear posted the following 'Preliminary Report' on his Sevengill Shark website; "San Diego Free Diver Justin Schlaefli was attacked by sevengill shark this evening. The dive started at 5:45 PM and ended at 6:30 PM. The spear fisherman was attacked in the calf and ripped several holes into his 5mm wet suit and was lucky not to have broken the skin. The attack occurred near the reef off Children's Pool as he and 2 other divers were returning. The diver attacked had a kelp bass on his stringer when struck by the shark. This was reported to lifeguards at the pool who did not believe it at first until his wet suit was examined and the other 2 divers that witnessed the attack confirmed it. After the first attack the shark swam at one of the other divers who shot the shark in self defense. If anyone sees or finds a sevengill shark with a spear shaft and spear gun attached, it would be that shark." Justin Schlaefli later reported;The calico had been cleaned and put on my stringer by my right leg 4 5 minutes prior to the encounter. I have heard numerous stories of sharks going after a fish that was shot and beating the diver to it but this was one level of aggression above that. I would consider it 'provoked' because it was clearly after the dead fish. We were in the process of leaving the area to avoid a conflict when the sevengill bit my leg. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Cardiff On May 31, 2011 Bo Gage and an unidentified companion were surfing at Cardiff, located between Encinitas and Solana Beach in San Diego County. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 68 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. There was a mild West breeze with the surf running 2 3 feet over a sandy ocean floor with only 2 feet of water visibility. They had been on the water for about 1 hour. Gage reported the following; We were sitting outside waiting for a set when an 8 10 foot shark, black in color, broke the surface about 10 feet in front of me. It stayed on the surface long enough to get a good look before we paddled in. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Seal Beach On May 20, 2011 Jim Babor and a group of fellow divers were returning from Catalina Island. It was about 4:00 PM with the sky clear and the sea calm. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 70 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. They were about one-half mile outside of the sea wall at Seal Beach. Babor reported; While returning from Catalina Island following a day of diving aboard the Sundiver, we came upon a shark that was breaching. It was 8 10 feet in length with a slender body. We pulled up about 50 feet from the shark, which breached completely out of the water, 4 5 times in rapid succession as if on a pogo stick. Then it submerged. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pigeon Point On May 14, 2011 Mike Cagney and two unidentified companions were kayak fishing at Pigeon Point, between Santa Cruz and San Francisco in San Mateo County. It was 9:30 AM and they had been on the water about 1.5 hours. The sky was overcast with an estimated air temperature in the mid-50's Fahrenheit. There was a moderate ocean swell of 4 6 feet over a reef-like bottom that was 25 feet deep. An undetermined number of pinnipeds, in addition to two whales, were observed in the area prior to the shark sighting. They were not in the area when the shark was observed. A number of fish had been caught prior to the encounter. Cagney reported; I looked up and saw a large fin moving slowly about 25 30 feet in front of my kayak. It moved nearly perpendicular for about 10 feet then submerged. We didn't see it after that. The fin was about a foot out of the water and looking like a 90 degree triangle, dark grey in color with tatters on the back trailing edge. I had a shark shield on. I have seen plenty of dolphins, whales and seals/sea lions, and sharks twice - and to me this was clearly my third shark sighting in 20 years of surfing/kayaking the San Mateo coast. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Redwood City On May 12, 2011 the California Department of Fish & Game announced they were conducting additional necropsy's to determine the cause of death of more than 50 Leopard Sharks (Triakis semifasciata) that had washed up dead along Northern California beaches since April. An initial necropsy found inflammation, internal bleeding and lesions in the brain, in addition to hemorrhaging from the skin. Bleeding was also observed around the tested female shark internal organs. It was believed the 50 sharks that washed up dead at Redwood Shores in Redwood City probably died a slow death. A resident of the area, Catherine Greer, said she and her son tried to save several sharks by returning them to the water. She said; The sharks swam right back, thrashing their heads against the shore as if they were trying to commit suicide. A statement released by the city mentioned, "The pathologist is not drawing any conclusions until more examinations and all tests are performed." A bacterial study and microscopic tissue analysis are underway. Investigators have not ruled out a human-caused spill of toxic chemicals, although no big spill has been reported in the region over the past couple of months. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Huntington Beach On May 11, 2011 David Stratton was surfing Huntington Beach near the cliffs, about 1.25 miles North of the pier. It was 8:00 AM and he had been on the water about one hour. Air and water temperatures were estimated to be 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was about 7 feet deep with 10 15 feet of visibility over a primarily sandy ocean floor. The water was choppy with 2 4 foot waves. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Stratton reported the following: I was paddling back out after riding a wave towards shore and was watching a wave break about 30 feet from me. As the swell grew, I saw a shadowy shape appear in the wave. I waited before continuing to paddle, and after the wave broke I saw the dorsal fin and tail of what appeared to be a shark. It was swimming North at a fairly slow pace. It didn't appear to make any effort to follow me or either of the other 2 surfers in the water; however, it was at this time that I decided to leave the water. I watched for a few minutes after exiting the water, and did not see it again. The shark was about 6 feet in length, as it appeared to be smaller than me. It was a pale grey-blue color. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Moonlight Beach On May 10, 2011 Kyle Kennedy was surfing at Moonlight Beach near D and E Streets in Encinitas. It was 10:30 AM and he had been on the water about one hour. It was sunny with a mild breeze and 3 4 foot waves. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Kennedy reported; I had been sitting on my board for a few minutes when I decided to paddle a little bit to the North and then outside for a set wave. I saw a shark rise up coming in toward shore. It was grey and about 3 feet wide. I could see its nose, eyes and dorsal fin clearly. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Newport Beach On May 5, 2011 Tyler Tolson reported the following; "At 6:20 PM. my brother and I were surfing at Newport Beach near 32nd street. One other surfer was in the water around us. We are almost positive we saw a shark. We have seen plenty of dolphin fins, but the dorsal fin that we saw was HUGE. The dorsal fin slowly came out of the water for approximately 5 seconds. The Shark was heading towards Huntington Beach. This was just one and it was about 15 yards away. What I know is that this was not a dolphin and the dorsal fin was huge. After we saw that we exited the water and caught the next wave in." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On May 4, 2011 Rudy Velasco was surfing at San Onofre State Beach near the point. The ocean floor at this location is primarily small cobblestone. Velasco reported the following; I had been in the water about 10 minutes when I observed a White Shark 7 10 feet in length come up near the point at San Onofre. It was observed by at least 30 other surfers. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Waddell Creek Beach On May 2, 2011 John T. was kite-surfing at Waddell Creek Beach, about 20 miles North of Santa Cruz. It was about 1:00 PM and he had been on the water 40 minutes. The sky was clear with a brisk 18-20 knot NW wind. The sea was slightly flat with 2 3 foot wind waves and a gentle swell. Several whales (species unknown) were observed about 20 minutes after the encounter. John T. reported the following; A new kiter to Waddell Creek said the fin was large and just cruising nearby. It was unlike the dorsal fin of a dolphin. A spectator came up to kiter when he came on to the beach and remarked that they were concerned about the large fin they saw out there following the kiter for at least three minutes. This occurred approximately 200 yards from shore. The fin was not seen afterwards. The day prior, I had seen a large shape beyond the breakers that I assumed to be an elephant seal. About 10 minutes later I noted very erratic activity by a sea lion that jumped out of the water 7 times in succession. In hindsight, the large shape might have been a White Shark of approximately 10 feet in length. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Carlsbad State Beach On May 1, 2011 Michael Schmid reported the following; My son and his wife were walking along Carlsbad State Beach on Saturday evening, April 30, at about sunset, when they discovered a decomposing sea lion carcass on the beach. I went to the site the next day (Sunday, May 1) about noon to measure and photograph the carcass. The total length of the Sea Lion carcass was right at 7 feet however, the head, neck, and part of the shoulder area were all missing. The tail flippers were also missing some of their original length. The Sea Lion carcass had the ribs and spine exposed with most of the innards missing. I have no idea how long the carcass had been there, but it was giving off a very pungent odor. Cause of death could not be determined due to the advanced state of decomposition. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Long Beach On April 25, 2011 commercial California Halibut (Paralichthys californicus) fisherman Steve Campbell reported the following; At 6:30 PM I recorded air and water temperatures of 69 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit. It was near sunset under a clear sky with a West wind of 15 knots. I was about 50 feet from shore when I observed a White Shark, 6 7 feet in length, feeding on a California Halibut. I observed the shark for about 10 seconds before it was out of sight. This is my second observation this year of a small White Shark feeding on a California Halibut in Alimitos Bay, Long Beach. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Newport Beach On April 22, 2011 Dena Files reported the following; I was walking along the beach, on the South side of Balboa Pier in Newport Beach. I noticed a flock of birds feeding on something that kept rolling in and out with the surf. As I approached the object I realized it was a deceased seal. I believe it could have defiantly met its fate by a shark since it no longer had a head or a tail. There were large bite marks on both sides of its body. I've been keeping my eyes on the water as there is something out there I've spotted 3 times in the last two days. It looks too large to be a seal or dolphin. Its length looks more like a juvenile whale and when I've seen it, it's at the surface, moving very slowly then out of sight again. So I just get a glimpse of a dark colored body rising up then down. I'm puzzled as I've watched and waited for a spout from a blowhole if it were a whale or dolphin but have not seen one. Also, the times I have seen whales, they are much further out then whatever this is. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Redondo Beach On March 24, 2011 a Long-beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus capensis) was found on Redondo Beach near the Breakwall. It appeared to be an adult, about 6 feet in length, with the cause of death possibly due to shark bite. The dolphin was discovered about 3:00 PM by surfer Chris Wells and was photographed an hour later by Brad Jacobson. After reviewing photographs of the animal on Thursday, Dave Janiger, Assistant Curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, said; It's a predation kill, most likely by a Great White Shark. He continued; This long beaked common dolphin is pretty fresh. It died within 24 hours, and close to shore. It should be noted that it is also possible that the wounds were inflicted post-mortem after the animal died from natural causes. The discovery of this animal would seem to support ET Surf Shop Manager Daniel Del Castillo's observation on Sunday at 9:45 AM of a large dorsal fin speeding past the line-up at the Breakwall. The fin was about 2 feet high and north of surfers Steve Howe and Charlie Carver. Moments later the fin headed south toward the Breakwall, near the outside sets. Marine mammals were observed inside the surf line. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
North Torrey Pines Beach On March 22, 2011 Steve Smith reported the following; It was 4:30 PM and my son and I were surfing North Torrey Pines just south of Brown Wall. The seas were rough and breaking well outside, 50 70 yards offshore, in late stage waning tide. They were good size and momentum waves. We spotted a shark about 20 yards outside of our position. I watched it for a good 5 6 seconds. The color was dark grey with the dorsal and tail swinging in the unmistakable side to side stroke. Dolphins were in the area to the north of our position. We both dropped into the next wave and left the area. There were no other surfers at North Torrey Pines or at Del Mar through 11 th Street. We climbed cliff at Brown Wall and saw thrashing in an area 50 60 yards offshore about 40 yards north of where we had exited the water. The thrashing continued for several minutes. There was no further sighting.' The dolphins were to the north close to 6 th Street Del Mar. Type of shark is unknown, as to the size, my best guess from my short view is approximately 8 feet in length and 3-ish feet wide. It could have been larger or smaller. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Tamarack State Beach On March 19, 2011 Anthony Michal was surfing 40 yards from shore at Tamarack State Beach in Carlsbad. It was 11:45 AM and he had been on the water about 15 minutes. Air and water temperatures were estimated at 62 and 56 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The sky was clear and the sea very choppy with the waves 3 5 feet. The water was 6 8 feet deep with limited visibility of 1 2 feet due to the choppy water. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Michal reported;A shark broke the surface approximately 20 feet from my surfboard. The tall dorsal fin, about 18 inches high, was fully visible and grey in color. The shark swam for a few yards parallel to me and then disappeared under the water surface. I did not see the shark again. Please report any shark sightings, encounters, or attacks to the Shark Research Committee.
San Francisco On February 18, 2011 Jon Carroll wrote the following in the San Francisco Chronicle. (Due to the present proposed legislation in California and the status of shark populations worldwide it is most timely.)
Either we are one planet or we are not. Either we all breathe the same air, drink the same water, fish in the same oceans and hunt in the same forests, or we don't. Evidence strongly suggests that we are and we do. This island Earth floating through the great airless cosmos - if we mess this one up, we don't get another and technology won't protect us from our own misbehavior. We actually have to change our habits. It's hard to change a habit, particularly when it's wrapped in the various pieties of identity politics.
Shark fin soup is tasty. It's a staple of Chinese cuisine. Whales are tasty. They're a stable of Japanese cuisine. Baby harp seals have warm, soft coats. They are a staple of the Norwegian fashion industry. But each of these animals is endangered in one way or another. Whales and sharks are at the top of the food chain. Eliminate them and the oceans suffer because the ecosystem is compromised and, candidly, haven't the oceans suffered enough?
But here's a thing: Tuna is tasty and a staple of American cuisine. The world would be a lot better off if those tuna were in the ocean rather than in cans. Yes, I know there are uncruel "sustainable" ways to catch tuna, but the most sustainable way of all is to leave them the heck alone. Nothing is more sustainable than living fish.
It's not just cultural demand that promotes the consumption of tuna - or shark fins. There are commercial considerations. People are making money from killing these animals. Not all of the people work for huge multinational corporations, although some of them do. Some of them are small individual entrepreneurs scraping by during fishing season.
What if there were small individual entrepreneurs pouring chemical waste into our rivers? Would we feel sentimental about them? (There are such entrepreneurs, although not nearly as many as there used to be. They're called farmers.)
A bill was introduced in the California Assembly that would ban all trade in shark fins. A public meeting was held. Supporters said that the large California market encourages the use of the cruel practice of shark finning (which is exactly what it sounds like). The sharks are then put back in the water to die. Some scientists say that the collapse of the international shark population is due to the skyrocketing demand for shark fins all over the world.
Paul Fong, a Democrat from Cupertino, said: "I grew up on shark fin soup, but when I found out the effect it was having on the shark population two years ago, I stopped eating it." Fong is one of the co-sponsors of the bill.
State Sen. Leland Yee, who perhaps not by coincidence is running for mayor of San Francisco, decided to ignore and distort the issue. He called the bill "an attack on Asian culture."
"Right now, Costco sells shark steak. What are you going to do with the fin from that shark? This is another example in a long line of examples of insensitivity to the culture and traditions of the Asian American community." Oh, please.
A few points: First, the shark fins are taken mostly from finned sharks left to die. It would be nice if those sharks could be kept so the meat could be sold to supermarkets, but it ain't happening. So that's a fail and there is unquestionably a long line of incidents of cultural insensitivity to the Asian American community, but this isn't one of them.
Charles Phan, the owner of the Slanted Door said; "It's never easy when you try to tell people what not to eat, but in my view the ocean needs protection. You might call it part of Chinese culture, but if you keep it up, the shark will disappear. We need to know what's right for Mother Earth."
Either we live on one planet or we don't. Either we are all stewards of the oceans or we are not.
Vancouver Island On February 17, 2011 Ron Steinbach, a log salvager at Port Alberni, British Columbia, recovered more than loose logs last week while working in the Alberni Inlet. The Inlet is on Vancouver Island and is a long, narrow flute that leads 25 miles (40 km) inland from the open ocean of Barkely Sound. Steinbach recalled; I was about to pull a log off the Boy Scout Camp beach near Coulson's Mill on Thursday when I found a dead shark 12 14 feet in length. I knew it was a Sixgill Shark, Hexanchus griseus , when I first saw it. It was floating half in the water and half out and it looked like it was about four days (dead). Steinback lashed the shark to his salvage boat and towed it to West Van Isle Contracting nearby to show workers. The workers estimated that the shark weighed in excess of 900 pounds. Officials from Fisheries and Oceans Canada including a shark specialist from Nanaimo came to Port Alberni on Friday to pick up the shark. The shark was thoroughly examined before being disposed of it at the local landfill. Female sharks are suspected to venture to shallower waters anything less than 200 feet deep to give birth and this one likely died from trauma or stress. This one had no propeller, hook or gaffe wounds on it, DFO research scientist Jackie King said. The pups were kept for further study. King went on to say; We know very little about the pupping and birthing process. These pups are a source of missing knowledge for a shark that size so close to birthing.
San Francisco On February 14, 2011 California Assembly Members Paul Fong and Jared Huffman introduced a bill in the California State Assembly to prohibit the sale of shark fins in California. California is one of the largest sources of demand for shark fin outside Asia and this bill would represent a major step towards reducing pressure on shark populations. Furthermore the bill complements the ban introduced in both Hawaii and the Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands (CNMI) as well as restrictions established by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
Every year fins from 70 100 million sharks are used for shark fin soup, which is contributing to the decimation of shark populations worldwide so that now one third of all shark species are threatened with extinction. As sharks play a vital role in the oceans, their depletion could cause irreparable damage to marine ecosystems. Actor and UN Environment Ambassador Edward Norton said As a life-long diver, I have seen the depletion of sharks caused by the shark fin trade first-hand all over the world from Indonesia to the Galapagos Islands. The Fong/Huffman bill is a vital step towards reducing demand and protecting these important animals and has my full support."
Shark fin soup is widely available from Chinese restaurants in the U.S. A survey found one third of Chinese restaurants in San Francisco serving the dish priced from $6.95 to $85 a bowl. Fins used for shark fin soup are often removed from a living shark with the bodies of the animal dumped overboard alive. Given the high price that shark fin soup commands, shark poaching is widespread in marine protected areas, such as the Galapagos and Cocos Islands. There have been seizures of up to 10,000 fins at a time and most recently sniffer dogs uncovered an illegal cache of fins in the Galapagos.
In a recent study the world's top shark scientists reported that of 64 species of pelagic open ocean sharks and rays, 32% are threatened with extinction, primarily due to overfishing. In addition, 24% were near threatened, while another 25% could not be assessed due to lack of data. Sharks are highly vulnerable to overfishing due to their late maturity and slow reproduction. Globally shark catches are unregulated or unsustainable and the shark fin trade is unregulated worldwide.
In China, there is a growing groundswell of opposition to shark finning. NBA star and one of China's most popular figures, Yao Ming, has recorded public service announcements using the new footage. Other Chinese sporting and movie icons, as well as leading businessmen, are taking a stand by refusing to eat shark fin soup. Li Ning, who lit the Olympic torch and Liu Huan, who sang in the Beijing Opening ceremony, and a number of Olympians, including North America's Tara Kirk and Amanda Beard, have all pledged to not eat shark fin soup and have also recorded public service announcements. The campaign has been featured on China's CCTV networks featuring 20 Olympic gold medalists and has reached hundreds of millions of Chinese. Chinese business leaders joined the pledge and Alibaba (the Chinese Ebay equivalent) now prohibits the sale of shark fin through their site.
Sharks have been around for nearly 400 million years, but at the current rate of overfishing they could be wiped out in a single human generation. A recent report found that only 13 of the top 20 shark fishing nations have developed national plans of action to protect sharksone of the primary recommendations from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2001. It remains unclear how those plans have been implemented or whether they have been effective.
La Jolla On February 10, 2011 the San Diego Union-Tribune reported; Two scuba divers told San Diego lifeguards that they saw a 5-foot baby Great White Whark about 500 yards off the shore of La Jolla Cove. The divers reported the sighting about 2 p.m., said Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Lifeguards interviewed the divers and felt confident it was likely a legitimate sighting, Luque said. The divers said they were about 30 feet under water at the time. They were near a yellow buoy marking an offshore marine reserve. The shark did not threaten them, Luque said. Due to the distance from land, the shark was not considered an imminent public threat, Luque said. However, lifeguards issued an advisory in the La Jolla Cove area about the sighting. The advisory did not include La Jolla Shores. Luque said that baby White Sharks are not known to be interested in people. Their typical prey is fish. San Diego lifeguard Lt. John Everhart said that the divers, both women, said the shark swam within about 10 feet of them. One of the divers is very experienced, he said. It should be noted that the first authenticated attack on a human by a juvenile Great White Shark occurred on 20 August 2004 at San Clemente, California. There have been several additional authenticated cases since 2004. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Chasworth, CA Pacific Coast Shark Attacks During 2010
There were 7 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast of North America during 2010. There were 5 attacks (1 fatal) from California and 2 from Oregon. The attacks were distributed in the following months; July (2), August (2), September (1) and October (2). From 2000 to the present, of 56 total reported shark attacks, 28 (50%), occurred during the months August (10), September (8), and October (10). If we use the Southern Santa Barbara County line as a division between Southern and Central California, 1 of the reported attacks occurred in Southern California with the remaining 4 north of the division line. Both Oregon shark attack locations were about midway between the California and Washington borders at Winchester Bay and the Siuslaw River. Activities of the victims were; 3 Surfing, 2 Kayaking, 1 Paddle-Boarder, and 1 Boogie Boarder (fatal). The Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, was positively identified or highly suspect in all 7 of the attacks.
The publication Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century authenticated 108 unprovoked shark attacks from the Pacific Coast between 1900 and 1999. The Great White Shark was implicated in 94 (87%) of the 108 confirmed attacks with an annual average of slightly more than one shark attack per year. The 7 cases reported for 2010 brings the total number of unprovoked shark attacks occurring along the West Coast during the first decade of the 21 st Century to 56. This is more than five times' the Twentieth Century annual average and represents 52% of the total number of attacks reported for the entire Twentieth Century. The Great White Shark has been implicated in 48 (86%) of the 56 attacks reported during this Century. There have been 164 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast of North America since 1900. The Great White Shark was positively identified or highly suspect in 142 (87%) of the 164 reported cases.
Victim activity for the 56 unprovoked shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast since 2000 are distributed in the following groups; surfers 38 (68%) of the documented attacks with 5 swimmers (9%), 5 kayakers (9%), 3 divers (5%), 3 paddle boarders (5%), and 1 boogie boarder (2%). The number of adult, sub-adult, and juvenile Great White Sharks observed in Southern California during 2010 seems to support the contention that there is a possible change in their population dynamics and seasonal site preferences. The number of stranded marine mammal carcasses reported, specifically their location and time of year, would seem to support this observation. The Shark Research Committee will continue to closely monitor this activity. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Manhattan Beach On February 7, 2011 Jason Lee was surfing 100 yards from shore in front of 34th Street in Manhattan Beach. It was 3:30 PM and he had been on the water about one hour. The sky was clear with the air temperature estimated at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There were consistent barrels coming in.' No marine mammals were observed in the area. Lee reported; I was out surfing, waiting in a zone right before the wave crests and breaks. While I was waiting, I looked down and noticed something move. I wasn't sure it was a shark until I noticed the two side fins sticking out from the body and saw its body move in side-to-side motion while swimming. The shark swam below, past my board, and continued on its way. I paddled immediately back to shore, left the beach. The shark was 4 5 feet long, skinny build, dark color, possibly brown, but it may have been due to the water clarity. The nose was pointy but not sharp. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Cardiff On January 30, 2011 Casey Anderson and two unidentified friends were surfing near the San Elijo Campground, at Cardiff-by-the-Sea , usually referred to as Cardiff , located between Encinitas and Solana Beach in San Diego County. It was 10:30 AM and they had been on the water about 15 minutes. It was partly cloudy with a steady breeze from the South, and slightly offshore, with an estimated air temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a slight texture to the sea surface, with a light swell from Southwest and wave face heights waist to shoulder high. The water was 8 9 feet deep over a sandy ocean bottom with scattered areas of rocks and kelp grass and an estimated temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit. A single sea lion was observed following a fishing boat that was retrieving crab pots 130 yards out from their location. Anderson reported; I caught a wave and rode it South toward shore into waist deep water. I pulled out of the wave and got back on my board and paddled back out. I lay prone on my surfboard about 30 feet farther out than my two friends. I was facing West, looking for the next wave set. A small roller came through, too small to try to catch. In the trough in front of the wave, about 20 feet out from my position, I saw a triangular fin rise from the water. I noted that it did not surface in a curving motion like I see when dolphins surface. I would estimate the height of the fin that I saw to be 16 inches with a charcoal color leading edge fading to steel grey on the trailing edge of the dorsal fin. It came straight through the water swimming South to North and angled toward shore. The fin submerged when the small roller wave overtook it. I immediately raised my feet from the water and paddled with deliberate calm toward shore and toward my two friends who were about 10 yards behind me. They had not seen the fin. I told them what I saw and we decided to continue surfing accepting that whether we knew it or not we'd likely surfed with sharks near before. After another 40 minutes of surfing and not seeing the fin again, we exited the water and climbed stairs to the top of the bluffs backing the beach. The wife of one of my friends had been watching us surf from the bluff top and she immediately asked us if we'd seen a fin come up near us. She'd seen it surface from where she'd stood approximately 100 yards behind and 40 feet above us. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Huntington Beach On January 22, 2011 Kevin White and Scott Cross were surfing at Huntington Beach near Tower 10 on the North side of the pier. It was 4:30 PM and they had been on the water 2 hours. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature in the upper 60s Fahrenheit. The ocean was choppy with a 6 foot swell and an estimated water temperature in the upper 50s Fahrenheit and 3 feet of water visibility. No marine mammals were observed in the area. White reported;We were sitting in the lineup with two other surfers, no one else was in the water. It was low tide and the waves where breaking about 300 yards out. About 60 yards in front of us we saw a grayish colored' 2 1/2 foot high, maybe bigger, triangular shaped dorsal fin. The tail was also visible and 5 6 feet behind the dorsal fin. It was cursing South toward Newport real slow. It stayed there for about 40 seconds then we saw the tail push it forward and it disappeared. Scott and I exited the water after the next waves we caught and did not see it after that. I would say it was about 15 feet in length, maybe bigger. It was hard to tell with the sun in my eyes but that dorsal fin was huge. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
San Onofre State Beach On January 17, 2011 Miguel Perez, and his son Kyle, were surfing at Trail 1, San Onofre State Beach. It was 12:00 PM and they had been on the water about 30 minutes. The sky was clear with no noticeable wind and an air temperature of 75 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There were 2 3 foot waves and a green water condition with an estimated temperature in the upper 50s Fahrenheit. There were no marine mammals observed in the area. Miguel reported;My son and I paddle out and sat on our boards waiting for waves. My son was 10 15 feet further out than my location when the fin surfaced about 15 feet further than my son. The shark was heading in our direction when my son said is that a shark?' I said, yes', then a small wave, that we would not have be able to catch because we were too far out, rolled by causing the shark to turn and then submerged. The shark was black in color, about 7 feet in length. The dorsal fin was raised 4 6 inches above the surface of the water. The rest of the shark was visible below the surface. We surfed for another two hours and did not see the shark again. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Pismo Beach On January 7, 2011 a juvenile Salmon Shark, Lamna ditropis, washed ashore at the North end of Pismo Beach. There were no signs of trauma on the animal and the cause of death is unknown. A California Department of Fish and Game biologist identified the animal as a salmon shark, so named because it likes to eat salmon, as well as other kinds of fish. (Photo by Joe Johnston)
Washington, DC On January 4, 2011, H. R. 81 THE SHARK CONSERVATION ACT OF 2009 was signed into law by the President. Madeleine Bordallo, the Chair of the Insular Affairs Oceans and Wildlife subcommittee, and one of the original sponsors of the bill, worked tirelessly for passage of this legislation. The bill was introduced on January 6, 2009. It passed by voice vote the House of Representatives on March 2, 2009 and was then given to the Senate on March 3, 2009. The following Action Report shows activity by the Congress during the 356 days between introduction and passage. The effectiveness of this legislation will be tested over the next decade. Strict enforcement might reduce some of the pressure on dozens of shark species that are currently on the Endangered and Threatened Species lists of numerous organizations. Only time will tell. Please do your part to help Save the Sharks Save the Oceans.'
1/6/2009: Sponsor introductory remarks on measure.
1/6/2009: Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
2/4/2009: Referred to the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife.
3/2/2009 Mr. Holt moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill.
3/2/2009 Considered under suspension of the rules.
3/2/2009 DEBATE - The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H. R. 81.
3/2/2009 On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.
3/2/2009 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
3/3/2009: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
12/20/2010: Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.
12/20/2010: Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent.
12/20/2010: Amendment SA 4914 proposed by Senator Reid for Senator Kerry In the nature of a substitute.
12/20/2010: Amendment SA 4914 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
12/20/2010: Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.
12/21/2010 Ms. Bordallo moved that the House suspend the rules and agree to the Senate amendment.
12/21/2010 DEBATE - The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on the motion to concur in the Senate amendment.
12/21/2010: Message on Senate action sent to the House.
12/21/2010 On motion that the House suspend the rules and agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to by voice vote. (text as House agreed to the Senate amendment.
12/21/2010 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12/21/2010: Cleared for White House.
12/28/2010: Presented to President.
1/4/2011: Signed by President.
Chatsworth, CA January 1, 2011. I want to thank each of you that submitted a report to the Shark Research Committee during 2010. It is your observations that help paint the life-history picture of Pacific Coast sharks. I would ask that all of you continue to send us your observations. Your reports, even if they seem uneventful to you because of their frequency or lack of aggression by the shark, are vital to our field study programs. Again, thanks to those of you that participated in our Encounter Research Projects this past year. Sincerely yours, Ralph S. Collier.