Remember that story last week about El Niño’s potential to shift species distributions? Well, these shifts are making news off the coast of San Fransisco. Just this weekend, beachgoers in Pacifica spotted about 20 great white sharks a hundred or so yards from the beach.
According to experts, the majority of these sharks were juveniles, though a few were adults up to 18 feet long. With the rising sea surface temperatures associated with El Niño events, many warm water species see their geographic range expanding. Thus, it’s not uncommon to see these animals migrate to new territory in search of more food or habitable waters.
And while great white observations this time of year in Pacifica aren’t necessarily rare, you don’t typically see this many of them at once. While juveniles are frequently seen along the coast (though not necessarily in numbers this large), adult whites spend most of this season further offshore. If you’re in the area, it couldn’t hurt to stay out of the water for a bit just until the group moves further offshore. Shark attacks on humans are incredibly rare, though at this point it seems like you would just be pushing your luck.
Enjoy the Podcast!