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Report: Numerous Great White Sharks Seen Lurking Off Southern California Beaches

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LOS ANGELES, California -- There have been 8 confirmed and 5 suspected white shark sightings and breaches reported from Sunset Beach, Los Angeles, in less than two weeks. Observations have occurred from early morning to late afternoon. Reports of juvenile and adult white sharks from this location are not new or unique.

Last October 3rd several photographs of a breaching white shark were posted on the Pacific Coast Shark News page. Many more have been posted since that date. Daily reconnaissance by helicopter of this location has yielded some intriguing results over the past 13 days.

According to the helicopter pilot Lance O: "White sharks have been active at Sunset Beach every day with no less than 5 sharks present. The sharks range in length from 7 – 18+ feet."

The sightings are not limited to just Sunset Beach, but have also been reported with some regularity from San Onofre State Beach as well. Other locations have included; Point Mugu, Pismo Beach, Carpenteria, Venice Breakwater, La Jolla, Point Dume, Gaviota, Huntington State Beach and Topanga State Beach to name but a few. Year to date there have been 4 authenticated, unprovoked shark attacks on humans. The date, location, and victim activity are listed below.

  • 2 Jul 2010, Surfing, Silver Shoals at Shell Beach (Pismo Beach), CA

  • 2 Jul 2010, Paddleboard, Dog Patch, San Onofre State Beach, CA

  • 2 Aug 2010, Kayaking, 5 Nautical Miles off Gaviota State Beach, CA

  • 14 Aug 2010, Kayaking, Bean Hollow Beach, Pigeon Point, CA

Photographs and narratives for these recent encounters are posted on the Shark Research Committee's Pacific Coast Shark News page.

Shark encounters are not unusual this time of year in the Southern California area, which is believed to be a birthing location and nursery for white sharks. Juvenile sharks are frequently observed close inshore during those times of the month when the California Grunion spawn.

Additional information regarding the Shark Research Committee's conservation, education, and research programs are available at:

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