Record number of sharks appear off Southern California coast

A marine animals research group said they located more sharks in the water off the coast of Southern California this year so far than ever before, local CBS Los Angeles reported Saturday.

Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab, which has 120 underwater listening stations from San Luis Obispo to San Diego along the coast of California to track sharks, said its team had tagged 38 sharks, more than triple the number that they were able to tag last year.

Chris Lowe, director of the lab, tweeted this unprecedented findings, saying “so, even with COVID, we tagged more sharks this year than we have any other year,” and “the question is why.”

He explained that usually in the fall the sharks would migrate to the south due to water temperature in Southern California getting cooler, so it’s a surprise for researchers to find this year so many sharks are still swimming in the region.

According to a comprehensive study on the world’s shark population released this July, scientists, who spent four years gathering 15,000 hours of video data, found decreasing shark populations in a number of areas all around the world largely due to overfishing and climate change but the California shark population was thriving.

On the other hand, the CBS reported that despite the increased shark presence surfers don’t feel they were bothered by the dangerous animal.

The underwater observation stations run by Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab also provide an early warning system for lifeguards in Southern California so they can tell those in the waters that sharks are near.