"...there’s no good data showing sharks are actually dangerous."
If it ain’t one thing then it’s another, am I right? A few short months ago, in southern California, a microscopic virus, hand-crafted in Wuhan, shuttered beaches from San Diego up to Santa Barbara leaving surfers frustrated and sad.
Now, with beaches open and “silent spreaders” doing their work on the sand, Great Whites have arrived in both numbers and sizes that terrify or titillate, depending on profession and pastime of choice.
Shark season in Southern California is officially here.
The spring season is when the water starts to warm and younger sharks start to hang around, spooking surfers and swimmers who share the ocean with the mysterious sea creature – but as experts learn more about the great white sharks, the more they are finding sharks, for the most part, don’t care much for humans.
“We have to remind people they need to share the waves with the locals,” Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab Director Chris Lowe said. “And the locals are really those sharks.”
Early season reports of juvenile shark hot spots have been reported mostly in Santa Barbara and Ventura – there haven’t been many further south so far this year, Lowe said. That is a drastic difference from the El Nino years that brought large groups of sharks to the South Bay, Long Beach, Huntington Beach and San Clemente a few seasons back.
A 12-foot White chased surfers out of the water in Coronado over the weekend, another in San Clemente and another still in Manhattan Beach, home of the World Surf League’s Chief Executive Erik “ELo” Logan who, thankfully, was not on his SUP but rather in Lemoore getting the monster tubes of his young life (more as the story develops).
I happened to be sailing home from Catalina, enjoying the setting sun, when I spotted a fin about halfway to Newport. Undeniably a White, moving slow, lazy, but the biggest fin I’d ever seen with my own two eyes.
Will there be hits?
According to Shark Lab, “…there’s no good data showing sharks are actually dangerous. We are getting data to suggest sharks and people are interacting more than we thought. Our data, so far … as long as people aren’t bothering them, they don’t seem to care.”
A relief, certainly.
But do you think sharks should engage in a re-branding now that they are not dangerous or do you think they enjoy their naughty cloak?
Much to ponder.