San Francisco’s KGO-TV reports that a 52-year-old man was thrown from his kayak off Pleasure Point (Santa Cruz, CA) yesterday, after the kayak was bumped and then bitten by a shark. The man was unharmed in the incident and was assisted by boaters nearby who pulled the man from the water. Authorities believe a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) was likely responsible for the bite based on the size of the bite marks and a tooth fragment recovered from the kayak.
According to a KION-46 report, a man was thrown from his kayak off of Cambria, California’s Moonstone Beach on Saturday when a shark bit his kayak. The report goes on to say that Cambria firefighters said that a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) was responsible for the bite, which left a 24″ bite mark on the kayak.
According to KSBY.com, the kayaker described a 15′ great white shark swimming right past him after knocking him into the water. The kayaker was unharmed.
California sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) appear to be experiencing an increase in mortality rates as a result of bites from white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), according to a USGS press release. Tooth fragments and bite wound characteristics were used to identify white sharks as the species primarily responsible for the attacks on the otters.
USGS and DFG biologists and veterinarians have been documenting sea otter deaths since 1968. The data recorded indicates that shark bites accounted for about 8% in the 80s and early ’90s. However, that number rose to about 15% by the late 90s. Current estimates place the percentage of sea otter deaths caused by shark bites at approximately 30%.
Other natural causes of otter deaths recorded include mating trauma, starvation, infection, and heart disease. Additionally, boat strikes and gun-shot wounds were also among the reported causes of death for the federally listed threatened species.
For more information, check out the full report at USGS.gov.
A photo taken off Encinitas, California has been making news as of late. San Diego’s CBS 8 reports that the photo was taken off Swamis beach, and that a “local shark expert who confirmed that the shark in the photo is a 10 to 12 foot great white.”
While the CBS 8 report seems to take the stance that the image does, in fact, show a large shark, Encinitas Lifeguard Sgt. Robert Veria told CBS 8 that he believes the image is that of a surfer performing a duck dive and that the “fin” seen in the picture is merely the bent leg of the surfer. Additionally, none of the surfers in the water, many of whom appear to be in close proximity to the shape that is being referred to as a shark, reported seeing a shark.
A report on the photo also appeared on The Early Show which airs nationwide on CBS.
Is this an image of a white shark’s caudal fin or just a surfer’s leg? Feel free to sound off in the comments, if you have an opinion on the photo.
WARNING: Video features offensive language and graphic content
YouTube user ograza13 recently uploaded the video above which shows a young great white shark being caught, according to the video description, from Huntington Beach Pier.
It should be noted that fishermen involved apparently thought it was a mako, as you can hear one of them say “c’mon mako!” Based on the title of the video, it can be assumed that YouTube user ograza13 still wasn’t sure of the species, when the video was posted. However, it’s quite clear from the video that this is a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), which is a protected species in California waters.