Environment & Science

Newport Beach goes high tech with shark alerts

A great white shark breaches the surface in July 2010 as it attacks a decoy seal off the coast of South Africa.
A great white shark breaches the surface in July 2010 as it attacks a decoy seal off the coast of South Africa.
Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images
A great white shark breaches the surface in July 2010 as it attacks a decoy seal off the coast of South Africa.
An underwater shot of a white shark.
CSULB Shark Lab
A great white shark breaches the surface in July 2010 as it attacks a decoy seal off the coast of South Africa.
A Great White Shark is attracted by a lure on the 'Shark Lady Adventure Tour' on October 19, 2009 in Gansbaai, South Africa.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
A great white shark breaches the surface in July 2010 as it attacks a decoy seal off the coast of South Africa.
This photo from Discovery Channel shows a great hammerhead, one of the largest sharks in the world, during an episode of Shark Week.
Discovery Channel/ AP
A great white shark breaches the surface in July 2010 as it attacks a decoy seal off the coast of South Africa.
A great white shark seen off the coast of Guadalupe Island in Mexico.
Brook Ward/Flickr Creative Commons


Recent shark sightings have prompted Newport Beach to start monitoring ocean life with technology.

Acoustic devices have been installed off of Newport Pier, the Balboa Pier and the shore of Corona Del Mar. They will report whenever a tagged animal — including a shark — swims past.

At least four shark sightings have been reported in July from eye witnesses and these devices.

That follows what appears to have been a shark attack in May. A woman was swimming about 150 yards off the coast of Corona del Mar when she was attacked. She was hospitalized with wounds consistent with a shark bite.

Jason Young, Chief of Orange County Life Guards, says it's important for people to know what's swimming alongside them in the water:

"It's just to warn the public that a shark has been seen in the area and to enter at their own risk. And so I think people take varying approaches to that. Our job is to make sure the public is aware of the risks that are inherent when you enter the ocean."

Any time sharks are picked up by the device, that information will appear on a new website launched by Newport Beach. The site is meant to educate and inform the public while letting them know how the city is responding to the increase in shark sightings.