Now, after years of conservation efforts, shark populations are bouncing back in the Pacific Ocean. That’s leading to more run-ins like the one that took place Sunday in Newport Beach.
“Basically two generations of Americans had unfettered access to the ocean. We eliminated all those predators 50 to 100 years ago and now that they are protected, they are coming back.”
There’s a lot we don’t know about white sharks, but thanks to scientists like Lowe who have studied their behavior and tracked their movements, we have some tips for avoiding shark encounters.
- BE SHARK AWARE:
First, remember we share the waters with lots of creatures, sharks included. Since shark numbers were so low for so long, most of us aren’t use to looking for sharks. Keeping an eye out for them and thinking about risks is the first step in safety, says Lowe.
- STICK TOGETHER:
Sharks tend to avoid heavily populated beaches. Sure, choosing to swim with the crowds might disrupt your solitude, but it’ll likely keep sharks away as well.
- AVOID EARLY MORNING AND NIGHT SWIMS:It’s nice to hit the waves in the early morning or evening, but if you are worried about sharks, you might chose another time of day. Lowe says these hours are when the greatest number of incidents occur.
- DON’T SWIM WITH SEA LIONS:Sea lions are a favorite meal for white sharks. If you are in waters near a clan of sea lions, chances are good there’s a white shark near by. Same goes for seals. It’s best to swim somewhere else, so you don’t get seen as another tasty snack.
If you see a shark, you should watch its behavior, Lowe says.
If it’s aggressive, say circling or coming close to swimmers, people should leave the water and warn a lifeguard. However, in many cases, Lowe said sharks will simply swim off on their own.
Have a read about an area utilizing drones to prevent shark attacks.