Be careful about going into the ocean waters in Southern California.
Shark sightings have popped up quite regularly this summer.
A nursery for great white sharks has been spotted just off Ventura and Oxnard — two of six spots along the Southern California coast, according to the Ventura County Star.
The emergence of these younger sharks is not exactly random.
In fact, it was intentional.
Chris Lowe, a professor at CSU Long Beach, told the Orange County Register that protections have been in place for 20 years now that’s helped reduce the catching and killing of sharks by commercial fisheries.
All those sharks have reached sexual maturity, and they are producing babies. And those babies are now surviving.
Long Beach State professor Chris Lowe
“All those sharks have reached sexual maturity, and they are producing babies,” Lowe said. “And those babies are now surviving.”
And now those young sharks are coming close to the coast in search of food.
Lowe’s team at the Long Beach State Shark Lab searched through close to 100 years of fishery records and identified hot spots for the juvenile sharks.
They discovered that the young white sharks stayed in the Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Monica Bay, Huntington Beach and Dana Point areas during the summer before traveling down the coast and toward Baja for the winter.
The areas are safer for young white sharks, away from predators and surrounded by easy-to-catch sting rays.
A newborn great white shark measures about 4 1/2 to 5 feet long and grows about one foot annually for the first three or four years.
Fully grown, they can reach 21 feet in length.
These juvenile sharks, though, are not the great whites seen on TV.
They also are rarely aggressive in their behavior, but people are warned to leave them alone.