Dozens of great whites spotted in the bay


Hermanus Backpackers

Great White Sharks have been spotted in the bay area in large numbers.

Jordan Hanlon, Editor-in-Chief of The Highlander

In late October an unusually high amount of sharks were spotted in the bay. The sight of this many Great White sharks is not normal, especially for San Francisco and Pacifica.

Just last month, a large group of tourists enjoying their day in Alcatraz caught sight of a massive shark devouring a Sea Lion.

“This is highly unusual in the San Francisco Bay and is the first known witnessed predator [there],” said David McGuire, director of the San Francisco based shark conservation group and research associate at the California Academy of Sciences.

This rare occurrence has now been seen by over 500,000 people on Youtube. Some believe it is a sign that the rumored El Niño is causing the sharks to swim North, which would explain the abnormal amount of sharks in the San Francisco waters. Autumn is a ordinary time for Great Whites to be passing through the bay according to electronic monitoring, but none have ever been seen or caught on camera.

Although most tourists seemed entertained by the incident at Alcatraz, the event has caused fear for local swimmers, kayakers, fishers and surfers in San Francisco.

“My family friends have a boat in the bay; sometimes I go with them with my dog. My dog likes to jump in the water and swim, but the fact that there have been sharks seen makes me worry not only about my dog, but anyone else who is in the bay.” said sophomore Simone Alemdarez.

The news of sharks in the bay does not scare everyone though. Some feel it is a unique experience for this part of California.

“I fish out there sometimes, but I think it’s really cool that there are sharks. It’s also pretty crazy. I’m not very worried about it though, I don’t think it will have a huge effect,” said junior Canyon Regan.

The sharks are being closely monitored by a system called #Sharkwatch on Twitter that was set up by Shark Stewards. This allows surfers, kayakers and anyone else who enjoys the ocean to be aware of where sharks were recently spotted.