Friday, October 22, 2010

Great White Kills Boogie Boarder Off North Santa Barbara County

At CNN, "Shark kills 20-year-old man off beach on Vandenberg Air Force Base." And at KEYT Santa Barbara, "New Details: Deadly Shark Attack Kills Local Student."

And from Pete Thomas, "
Surfer Fatally Attacked by Shark Off Central California":
According to the Florida-based International Shark Attack File, before Friday's attack there had been only eight fatal attacks by white sharks on humans since 1916.

However, there is a consensus among some scientists that white shark population off California is increasing.

Christopher Lowe, who runs the Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab, attributes this to a longstanding ban on fishing for white sharks, a longstanding ban imposed on gill-net fishing in white shark nursery areas close to the coast, and the phenomenal rise in the number of California sea lions, which constitute a readily available food source for large white sharks.

Lowe, however, has not implied that this will translate into more attacks on humans, because white sharks have evolved over millions of years into such specialized predators.

Patric Douglas, CEO of Shark Diver, which is a California-based commercial shark-diving company that has extensive experience with white sharks, has witnessed the predators' behavior up-close dozens of times and can attest to their cautious, investigatory approach to possible prey.

Douglas agrees with scientists that most, if not all white shark attacks on humans involve mistaken identity, and advises people to stay out of the water very early in the morning when the sun might be at such an angle as to make it difficult for sharks to discern people from prey -- notably pinnipeds.

"Because that's when most of the attacks happen," Douglas said. "Just stay out of the water and give the sharks their due, because that's their time."
Added: "Surf Beach Shark Victim is Identified."


Left Coast Rebel said...

I have pictures of the boogie board over at LCR.