Five Things You Should Know About Sharks In San Diego

2017-11-22 07:46:35


When you live near an ocean, you tend to get acquainted with the surrounding aquatic plant and animal life. And of the abundance of marine life we have here in San Diego, it's evident that the area boasts a significant shark presence. In fact, we know for certain, especially considering we host daily shark tours in La Jolla. But what many people don’t understand about sharks is that in reality, they are more afraid of us. So, getting into the water shouldn’t conjure up visions of Jaws lurking in the depths. On this vein, we decided to give you five lessons about sharks that you can carry with you next time you plan an afternoon at the beach.

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Shark Attacks in San Diego are Extremely Rare

Over the past 60 years here, there have only been two fatal attacks in the area. Considering how many people enter the water on the yearly basis, those percentages are minuscule. Most of the animals living and breathing under water are in no mood or place to attack anything other than prey that is significantly smaller than itself.

Sharks are Common. Just Not The Ones You’re Thinking About

At any given time there are between five and ten different species of sharks living within a mile of shore. These include Leopard, Smoothhound, Sevengill, and Soupfin sharks. Leopard sharks are the closest to shore the can get up to six feet in length but not to worry, they are completely harmless as long as they are no provoked in any way. In the deep sea over a mile out you’ll also find Makos, Blue Sharks, and Thresher Sharks.

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Most Sharks are Harmless

Out of the over 400 species of sharks that exists in our oceans, there are only about 20 that we need to worry about. Out of all of these, Great Whites are the only ones that attack when not provoked. Other than that it’s perfectly okay to swim amongst the leopard sharks in La Jolla Cove or enter the water for a casual surf or swim.

Fins Don’t Always Mean Danger

Most of the time when beachgoers see a fin in the water their first assumption is a shark lurking for a meal. Now while this may be true, sometimes it is rarely a reality. More often than not it’s a porpoise fin. Because they both have dorsal fins, it may be a confusing, but there’s a difference in how the animal acts. Porpoises move through the water in a rhythmic surfacing and submerging manner while sharks move in a more horizontal plane. Therefore, their fins may stay above the surface of the ocean for an extended period of time.

Prevent or Fend Off A Shark

If you plan on entering the water and want to be a bit cautious, odds are in you favor if you avoid wearing bright contrasting colors. Standing out like a tropical fish never helped anybody. Jewelry is also something you may want to avoid since when it hits the light’s rays under the water, you may begin to sparkle like a fish’s scales. This may sound a bit overly precautious, and for the most part, it is, but sometimes a little peace of mind never hurt.