News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 pm

Juvenile great white sharks gather off SoCal beaches

A great white shark photographed on September, 8, 2015 near Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
A great white shark photographed on September, 8, 2015 near Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Listen to story

Download this story 0MB

In case you hadn't heard, there's an offshore party that's getting more crowded by the day. And no, it's not a booze cruise — it's a shark party.

An Orange County Sheriff's helicopter shot video Wednesday of a school of 15 juvenile great white sharks very near the beach.

Just the day before, 10 other young great whites were spotted feeding very close to the Long Beach shore.

Chris Lowe from the Long Beach Shark Lab joined "Take Two" last week following the shark attack off San Clemente to explain the recent shark activity along the SoCal coast.

We've been studying white sharks in Southern California now for almost 10 years, and we've learned a lot about what the babies do. Every time we think we've figured out a pattern, the patterns change. So we suspect that some of the pattern change is attributed to changes in our oceanographic conditions, like the strong El Niño we just came out of, and the fact that we might be entering another El Niño so quickly. So it could be that global climate change is what's driving some of this pattern. We just don't know because the population is rising, and we don't know if it's global climate change, population increase, or a little of both.

Although we may see more of adult sharks than we're used to, Lowe says sightings of young sharks off our waters is not unusual. 

People have to remember: Spring and summer have always been shark season in Southern California. The Southern California Bight, that area that goes from Santa Barbara to kind of mid-Baja, is known as a nursery for most of the Pacific white sharks because, frankly, they're some of the most productive waters in the world. So every spring this has been happening. It's just that over time, we depleted many of our shark populations, and it's literally taken them decades to recover.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department captured images of the sharks right on the surf line enjoying the waves alongside paddle boarders.