California coast under threat as great white shark population grows amid attack fears

California: Study finds ‘rise’ in number of great white sharks

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A new study published in the Biological Conservation journal highlighted that the Great White Shark population has been increasing in the USA west coast. This has been occurring due to an overabundance of their food source. This has raised fears that those in California enjoying the beaches could encounter sharks and face attacks.

Good Morning America’s Will Reeve reflected on the growing fears and the current situation.

Mr Reeve said: “With memorial day weekend just days away, close encounters with sharks between a young child and a juvenile Great White off the coast of California could become more common.

“A new study in Biological Conservation found an increase in the Great White shark population living off the central coast of the state.

“This is an area known as the red triangle.”

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This triangle is comprised of Tomales Point, the Farallon Islands and Ano Nuevo Island.

Mr Reeve continued: “Researchers have attributed the rising shark numbers in the region to a growth in their main food source, marine mammals.

“About 300 White Sharks call this area home.

“They can grow to nearly 20 feet long, top the scales at over 2,000 pounds and live for nearly 70 years.”

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Dr Taylor Chapple further explained the surge in the population of white sharks.

He said: “Each year about 60 percent of the sharks that we saw were animals that we knew from previous years.

“It showed us they have a real fidelity to these areas and that they are consistently coming back and that they are surviving from year to year.”

Mr Reevs highlighted that encounters with Great White Sharks are rare but there has been a surge in them over recent weeks.

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He said: “Just a few weeks ago in Oahu in Hawaii a six-year-old got the scare of her life

“A 14-year-old was bitten less than 5 miles away one day apart.

“The boy required more than 100 stitches.

“Beaches are now trying to keep beaches safe on both coasts.”

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