More Sea Lions Getting Attacked By Sharks This Year

Written by on August 1, 2019

In news from off the coast .. great white sharks are apparently biting and injuring an increased number of sea lions close to Southern California beaches … particularly in Orange County.

Large great white sharks have been spotted in the past weeks just off Capistrano and San Clemente beaches. 

On Friday, San Clemente lifeguards cleared the water and closed beaches after surfers reported at least three sharks a mile off El Portal Beach.

Two sharks were said to be about five feet long and one was about 10 feet … according to the Orange County Register.

Great white sightings are common for the area, a known nursery for great white babies.

But the newspaper reports that there is an unusually large number of sea lions that have been attacked by great whites this year.

The director of the Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab tells the O C Register he is “not really sure if this means there are more sharks around or more weak seals.”
And experts do not know if there are more sharks in the area.

Bite marks spotted on the sea lions look like they are made by large juveniles, a group for which scientists have little data.

Officials from the Marine Mammal Care Center in Los Angeles have alerted Los Angeles County lifeguards earlier this month that they were taking in more sea lions bitten by sharks near local beaches.

“We feel it’s important that this information should be brought to the attention of Los Angeles County Lifeguards and to the general public, especially with weather forecasts of warmer days,” said Valerie Goodman, spokeswoman for the Marine Mammal Care Center.

The center took in two yearling sea lions in early July. Both had been so severely bitten that they had to be euthanized.

Two adult sea lions were rescued with bites and taken to a center in Malibu to recover … according to the Orange County Register.

Orange County Register article:

[There are no radio stations in the database]