Large group of sharks, feeding on seals and sea lions, causing concerns for swimmers and surfers in the area.
A large group of great white sharks spotted by the U.S. Coast Guard just off the shore in Northern California is causing concerns for swimmers and surfers, according to a report on techtimes.com.
The sighting near Pacifica, a coastal community just south of San Francisco, comes on the heels of a video shot on a cell phone that surfaced last week showing a great white attacking and eating a seal in the San Francisco Bay.
The U.S.Coast Guard spotted the cluster of some 20 sharks swimming no more than 100 yards off the coastline, with most of the sharks estimated to measure from 10 to 15 feet long, but reported a few that were at least 18 feet in length. The sharks were seen from two Coast Guard helicopters flying about 500 feet in the air on October 16.
The great white shark, which reportedly can grow up to 21 feet in length, feed on seal lions and seals around the San Francisco area about this time of year before returning to the deep ocean.
David McGuire of the nonprofit conservation group Shark Stewards said, “An unusual number of juvenile white sharks under 10 feet long have been observed this year, likely associated with the unseasonably high water temperatures along the coast.”
While saying that sharks attacks on humans are rare, McGuire added those in the area may want to exercise caution for a bit, recommending, “I might swim and surf somewhere else for a few days.”
McGuire also added that an 18-foot great white would be dangerous to humans and would be considered a very large, mature specimen.
The great white shark can grow to weigh as much as 7,000 when fully grown, and is normally found in the waters around parts of the United States, Australia, and South Africa.
It is believed that there are about 3,500 great whites still living in the world, and around 220 inhabit the waters off of the California coast. Experts say the species is a social animal and they often travel in groups. They are identified by their grayish skin on top and white underbellies.
Officials are advising people living in the area to use caution when swimming, kayaking or surfing in the waters around the San Francisco Bay for the time being.