White Shark Numbers Seem to be Rising in Southern California

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Date: March 1, 2018
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Dr. Chris Lowe, a shark researcher with California State University Long Beach (CSULB), will discuss the increasing trend in white shark numbers including juvenile sharks along our coast during the March From Shore to Sea lecture. 

Lowe’s research has tracked the migration of the juvenile sharks as they leave Southern California waters in the winter for the warmer waters in Baja. He has found this pattern has changed in recent El Niño years when the waters are warmer in our coastal waters. 

Female great whites come to coastal waters to give birth. The young sharks use shallow open beach habitats and bays as nurseries, where there is warm water and available food. 

Lowe has employed new technologies such as acoustic and satellite transmitters, autonomous underwater and aerial vehicles, and underwater camera stations to increase our understanding of white shark behaviors. 

His talk will emphasize the need to protect sharks and their nurseries and how juvenile sharks pose little threat to people as long as they are left alone, undisturbed.

Lowe is a professor in marine biology and director of the Shark Lab at CSULB, where he and his students study the movement, behavior, and physiology of sharks, rays and gamefishes. Lowe earned a BA in marine biology at Barrington College in Rhode Island, a MS in biology at CSULB, and a Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Hawaii. In 1998 he returned to CSULB and for the last ten years, he and his students have been studying the juvenile white sharks of Southern California.

The talk will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2018. The From Shore to Sea lecture series is sponsored by Channel Islands National Park to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding marine waters. The 2018 lecture series will take place at 7:00 pm on the second Thursday of each month, February through April and September through November, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, in Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Last updated: March 2, 2018

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