DEL MAR, Calif., (KGTV)— “Enter at your own risk”— That’s what the signs at Del Mar Beach say after at least three shark sightings in as many days. There was also one sighting off the Coronado Coast around noon Wednesday.
Del Mar is precisely the escape Kathleen Pierce and her family were after.
“We have been suffering in the hundred-degree weather in Temecula so we thought we’d come down to the beach,” Pierce said.
It was a great plan until she saw the warning sign at the beach entrance.
ADVISORY: SHARK SIGHTED. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.
“I saw the sign, and I had to pause,” Pierce said.
But they jumped into the water anyway, because she figured, the likelihood of actually coming up onto a shark was low. But a few minutes in, her son spotted a few.
“When the wave was about to crash, I just saw all of them swimming in a group,” her son Drew said.
Drew said they were only about three to four feet long, so he ignored them. His friend was frightened and ran to the shore.
“The sharks that were seen off of Del Mar, based on the size, we know that they were juveniles,” Research Biologist at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Heidi Dewar said.
Dewar said if the sharks are under six feet, they are juveniles. They eat smaller fish, so they pose no threat to people. It is their parents we need to worry about.
“If I saw a sub-adult or anything over 6 feet, I would probably personally get out of the water,” Dewar laughed.
Pierce decided to say and keep an eye on her children at all times, because leaving early to get back to triple-digit temperatures, was not part of her plan.
“If nothing else, we would just go a little bit more shallow water,” Pierce laughed. “We would not turn around and go back.”
Dewar’s best advice to avoid shark attacks:
1. Avoid the beach at dusk and dawn
2. Stay away from river mouths
3. Pay attention to lifeguards and their warnings
10News also asked Dewar, why does it seem like we are seeing more sharks in the water, recently?
Dewar said, in the 1990s, regulations were put in place that helped the fish population grow. Banning net fishing off the coast of California allowed for more fish to survive. More fish means more food for sharks, allowing them to grow and prosper. That is the cause of the increased shark population, and more sightings in recent times.