SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — Scientists are putting out the word to get ready for a shark migration that may impact Northern California beaches this summer.
The ocean predators may be hanging out off shore, but the sharks are already the talk of the town in Santa Cruz.READ MORE: Suspect Wanted In January Santa Cruz County Shooting Found In Idaho
“I don’t know, I heard they were out here, so just taking a look,” said one Santa Cruz surfer named Rock.
It’s that time of year when sharks populate the waters off coastal towns in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. But there are new visitors: shark pups that have never been seen in the vicinity before.
“We’ve been surveying the bay since 1990, so we definitely know what’s normal and what’s not,” said Pelagic Shark Research Foundation Executive Director Sean Van Sommeran. “And this is definitely atypical.”READ MORE: Dixie Fire Update: Wildfire Grows To 142,940 Acres; Major Spot Fire Threatens Twain
Van Sommeran says warmer ocean waters are to blame. The temperature change has served as a catalyst for a northward migration, bringing larger numbers of sharks here rather than Southern California. But not to worry, he says, there haven’t been any major incidents in this part of Monterey Bay since 2012 when a kayak was bitten.
These sharks are hardly the size of one involved in that incident.
“Some of these sharks are yearlings. They are hardly six feet long, said Van Sommeran. They have an entirely different menu. They’re not going to really bother a human.”MORE NEWS: COVID: California 7-Day Positivity Rate Rises To 4.9%, Sparks Pleas To Vaccinate
It is still recommended that you alert the life guards on duty at the beach where you are swimming if you see a shark, just as a precaution.