Sharks in the Water!

Linsey Becerra, staff writer

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“Shark!” the most infamous word no one wants to hear on a beach trip. However, this year numerous beach goers have sighted sharks on our Southern Californian shores. Seventy eight shark attacks have been reported this year. Two schools of sharks were spotted by Orange County and Long Beach in May. Shark sightings also gave a scare this year during the surf competition in Jay Bay.

As of last year there was eighty-one shark attacks across the world. California had two incidents with great white sharks in 2016, while Florida had a total of thirty-four bites in total. The highest number of shark attacks happened in 2015 with ninety-eight attacks. On average there is sixteen fatal shark attacks a year in the United States alone.

Although shark attacks are not as purposeful as most believe. Sharks primarily prefer smaller fish and invertebrates, as they are easier to break down. The only reason sharks have been known to attack humans is because they mistake the identity (often for a seal), or become curious. Understanding that sharks only attack by mistake should not diminish shark warnings. Safety precautions should always be taken when dealing with sharks.

With the number of increasing shark attacks, the question still remains: why are there so many shark sightings near the shore? There are multiple reasons why sharks are coming closer to shores. Sharks are migrate animals that tend to depend on temperature and seasonal changes, food sources and reproduction. For example great whites roam the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, towards the Alaskan islands, in the summer and move to south in the spring to reproduce and hunt.

Larger sharks are known to eat seals and sea lions, and there has been a rebounding population of seals and sea lions in most resent years. This and the fact that younger sharks tend to hunt closer to the shore, could be another explanation for why sharks are so close to shore.

Another common belief in the increase of shark sightings is people. With common technology, shark attacks and sightings are more heard of then in the past. The number of sharks in the water could have always been as high as it is now, but with high media interest, more people are aware of it.

Whether it is the increase in temperature and food or the advancement of technology, sharks continue to prove to be the kings of the ocean.

 

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Sharks in the Water!