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WATCH: 14-foot Great White shark circles fishing boat off La Jolla coast

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 20:36:30-04

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — Local fisherman Nico Gibbons was out fishing off the coast of La Jolla when he caught something unexpected: video of a 14-foot Great White shark.

Gibbons says the shark was preying on a seal just feet away from their boat.

“It was encircling our boat, it was encircling the seal. It was pretty gnarly to see,” he said.

Gibbons says the shark was nearly as long as their boat.

“We were hanging out right there,” he showed ABC 10News reporter Madison Weil in La Jolla cove. “About 100 yards west there are a lot of kelp beds.”

Great White shark sightings are on the rise in SoCal, but mostly the smaller, juvenile sharks.

“The juveniles are here in quite large numbers,” said Nick Wegner, Research Fisheries Biologist.

Wegner says there are a couple reasons why we’re seeing more sharks. First, like the beach go-ers seen on the shoreline, they’re here for summer.

“We think they’re taking advantage of the warm waters,” said Wegner.

Secondly, there are simply more seals and sea lions. Wegner says they’ve watched the sea mammal population rebound over the last few decades – and with it – the shark population as well.

He added that although there are more sharks, there hasn’t been an increase in attacks:

“I usually tell people the same thing…we’re not on the menu for white sharks.”