Authorities have released a warning to beachgoers after a pair of juvenile great white sharks were spotted just 100 yards from a popular Southern California beach.
The white sharks were sighted Tuesday in the Surfside Beach community of Seal Beach, according to NBC Southern California, as reports and video began making their way to the city’s Marine Safety Department. Lifeguards were unable to detect the sharks on Tuesday, yet on Wednesday morning, they located the great whites just outside the surf line. The sharks were described as measuring between five and six feet in length, identifying them as juveniles.
Chief Joe Bailey, of the Seal Beach Marine Safety Department, noted that white sharks are hardly common in the region, and a press release pointed out that they are likely moving through the area on their way to another destination. As KTLA 5 notes, warning signs were posted on local beaches, alerting swimmers to the presence of the white sharks, though as a consequence of their size, they likely pose little danger to beachgoers.
— KTLA (@KTLA) April 29, 2015
Last month, a group of juvenile white sharks made headlines when they were spotted off California’s Ventura Beaches. As the Inquisitr previously reported, harbor patrol officials in the region documented eight to 10 white sharks, which measured between three- to six-feet-long. The sharks startled beachgoers due to their proximity to shore, which experts attributed to pockets of warmer water located along the coastline. The white sharks were thought to be migrating to the warmer waters of Baja, and represented little threat to swimmers, as they were at a stage of development during which they primarily prey upon fish and stingrays.
More recently, it was reported that rising numbers of juvenile sharks off the coast of California, particularly among the great white population, were drawing poachers who actively target the young predators. While anglers often catch juvenile tiger sharks by accident, some fishermen have been setting out after immature great whites, which are often considered valuable trophies, or lemon sharks that can be sold on the black market.
Authorities also noted that the two great whites could have been drawn close to shore by the presence of bait fish in the area. Despite repeated sightings of the juvenile great white sharks, beaches in the area remained open.
[Image: Justin Gilligan via Australian Geographic]