The great white shark population is booming, but it spells bad news for California beachgoers who report having to lift their kids out of the water at short notice.
As ocean temperatures rise the predatory fish have been lurking closer and closer to the west coast US as they make the Pacific Ocean their home.
Recently a whopping 12-ft long great white was spotted just off the surfer’s paradise of San Clemente Pier, where beaches have been closed to swimmers.
Those living nearby say there have been more and more shark sightings in recent years.
“My wife was a little freaked out,” local surfer Craig Neil told local media 3WTKR.
“She sent me a text and said she’s getting the kids out of the water.”
The likely cause is a population explosion is thanks in part to warming seas, but also due to better marine conservation work, experts say.
A new study has found the number of killer creatures is rising off the California coast.
Chris Lowe a professor of marine biology and the director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach revealed the findings this week.
He said: “The simple reason for that is we’ve done a better job of protecting them.
“We’ve done a better job managing our fisheries and believe it or not, the water has gotten cleaner over the last 40 years.”
There are fears that the increase in great whites could disrupt ocean’s food chain, but although more beaches have been closed off than usual this summer there hasn’t yet been an increase in human shark attacks.
“So, that’s all good news but we just have to learn ways to be better guests in somebody else’s home,” Lowe said.
It is however likely the sea beasts will go for prey they never used to eat before.
Lowe continued: “If they get moved to a location where there’s less food, they’re just not going to do very well,” he said.
“In fact, their populations may start to go down or they start to feed on something they never fed on before.”
He added: “Now we’re starting to see them in places off Monterey, a place where we hadn’t seen them before and this is largely due to the oceans getting warmer.”
Despite being feared predators sharks are also at risk from human interaction.
This week a man in Saudi Arabia caused outrage when he was filmed brazenly jumping onto the back of a whale shark and grabbing it by the fin.