Previous highlights from the front page of this website

Saturday, August 29, 2015:  An 8 to 10-foot hammerhead circles a couple of fishing kayaks off La Jolla Shores (see video below).  As the kayaks return to the Avenida de la Playa launching area with the yellowfin tuna they had caught (the fish had been "bled out" earlier to keep them fresh) the hammerhead followed into shallow water.  News reports say the shark bit at the bottom of the kayak, excited by the scent of bled-out fish.  However, I encountered a friend who is a kayak tour guide at LJ Shores a couple of hours later and was told that the hammerhead actually tipped one of the kayaks and knocked its operator into the water.  A tour-guide colleague of hers raced to the scene and slapped his paddle on the water, driving off the shark.  From that point on La Jolla beaches were closed for 24 hours.  Read more here (although there is no mention of the man being tipped into the water).  Theories are that the super-warm El Nino water (now reaching 77 degrees F) has brought hammerheads farther north, and the yellowfin too.




Shark Week 2015: diver Noel catches silkies by the tail and rubs their bellies, putting them into a swoon that allows tags to be attached to their fins and away they go -- presumably to teach us more about what they do in the world.  Silkies are smooth-skinned sharks, 7-8 feet long, truly pelagic, and sadly one of the most hunted for shark-fin soup.  Theirs are the jaws sold to tourists in tropical souvenir shops, too.  In these videos, you will see silkies in action -- being tagged in a most unusual way (Discovery) and swimming and chomping fish chunks in Jupiter, Florida.  Read more about another silky adventure here.


First a couple, then six, seven and more.  Hmmm ... in shallow water, gray sharks about 7-8 feet in length, repeated goring, what's it all about?  Ichthyologist George Burress (Florida Museum of Natural History) suspects bull or tiger sharks, which tend to be aggressive and unafraid of sizable opponents (which humans are to a shark that's six or seven feet long).  "Any number of factors, including an abundance of fish or nesting turtles, could draw sharks to the area," says Burgess.  He notes the serial attacks in Egypt a few years ago, which were actually a single shark, "trained" by an unwitting diver who used to carry fish in his fanny pack to feed the shark with as he studied it.  Seeing other humans in the water, the same shark went for their buttocks and hands, expecting to find a fanny pack and fish treats.  This conclusion was deduced by shark-attack expert Ralph Collier, after some research and deliberation.

Another theory is that drought has further salinated the ocean, and sharks like warm salty water.  However, there have been torrential rains in Texas and the eastern seaboard, so this is not a convincing explanation.  Nonetheless, beachgoers are freaked out, though the beaches remain open.  See CNN's articles and news videos on this series of attacks here, and read more about shark attacks here.

Carolina 2015 shark attacks