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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Santa Cruz County Area Shark Population Explodes, Study Finds

The number of young Monterey Bay great white sharks increased dramatically from 2014 to 2019 on the heels of a marine heat wave in 2014 to 2016, according to a study published Tuesday by researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, California State University, Long Beach and Duke University. The Monterey County side of the bay does not appear to have been quite as impacted.

Young great whites are typically found in the warmer waters of Southern California but have more recently been observed along the state's Central Coast.

Researchers found that the SoCal habitat for young great whites has apparently shrunk as a mass of cool water now separates the Central Coast and SoCal shark habitats.

The northward move of great whites "is significant as it creates potential conflicts with commercial fisheries, protected species conservation, and public safety concerns," researchers wrote.

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