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Shark sighting advice comes out as more people hit the Central Coast waters

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Shark sightings are becoming more commonplace in Santa Barbara County waters including along the Carpinteria coast for a few reasons including, more people in the water, more cameras in use and a growing shark population.

Often the Great White sharks get the most attention, and cause the public to have the most fear.

Advisory signs are up in areas where sharks have been seen regularly.

Several years ago the signs only went up when the sharks were seen or if a credible attack was reported.
The protocols are now the same along the California coast.

That includes regular signage in areas where sharks are common,  and enhance signage if there is an elevated danger that's been determined by beach authorities such as area lifeguards, the Harbor Patrol of Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Education and outreach is available at the Department of Fish and Wildlife website or through the non-profit Reef Guardians.

    Reef Guardians has posted information about sharks in key areas where the sharks are seen regularly including along Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria.

Area lifeguards say if there is a sighting, they get as much information as possible on a special form.

Santa Barbara Aquatic Supervisor Tony Sholl said, "where was it,  how big was it,   which direction was it  going,  what behavior did it have, have you ever been a shark before,   did you see both dorsal fins versus one? So we do some investigating on it."

Not every shark sighting these days results in a full blown change at the beach.

Sholl said, "if they are bigger than eight-feet.    They are near the shore line that is where we put up our advisory signs or warnings sign  depending on what the sharks behavior is."

Article Topic Follows: Outdoors
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about John, click here.


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