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  On December 4th, 2007 I warned that protecting the seals at Children's Cove would be an invitation for Great White to take up residence. This would, I said here, have potentially very tragic consequences for the thousands of people who swim nearby, including me.

      Reported Shark Sighting in La Jolla
                      Aug 31, 2010
A group of five surfers reportedly spotted the 12-inch dorsal fin of a shark south of Casa Reef in La Jolla at approximately 1:30 p.m., according to San Diego Lifeguard Services...On Thursday, a lifeguard spotted the 18-inch dorsal fin of a shark in the surfline near Belmont Park in Mission Beach. A day later, a second sighting was reported in Mission Beach. An experienced surfer reported a shark sighting that was most likely a great white shark"  Source.

                   Daily Blog - Tiger Software
                December 4, 2007 with Updates
    Great White Sharks
   and Protected Seals
   Mean Big Trouble for
       Swimmers at
Beautiful La Jolla Cove

   How Safe are Swimmers?
s - Solana Beach man killed by shark - 4/25/08
    Aug 16, 2010 Great White Shark Spotted Off La Jolla Shores
Feb 11, 2011  
Baby Great White Shark Spotted Off La Jolla Cove
    Aug 31, 2010  Shark Sighting Closes La Jolla Beaches
       This is the third shark sighting in San Diego in past week.

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                                           Great White Sharks
             and Protected Seals
            Mean Big Trouble for
                 Swimmers at
          Beautiful La Jolla Cove

Southern Califrnia Swimmers at Heightened Risk.
"Seals were here first.  We are the intruders."

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                   Seals at Children's Cove (Case Cove)

   A few hundred yards south of beautiful La Jolla cove, where swimmers throng,
   lies Casa Cove.  It is a protected refuge for seals, the main food for Great Whites.

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La Jolla Shores has had its own shark sightings, is a 1/2 mile north of La Jolla Cove and
  a mile north of Childrens' Cove, where a hundred+ State protected seals nest on the beach.

  Will The "San Diego Union Tribune" Keep Us Informed?
                      Is it safe to swim in Southern California?   If it is not, don't expect
                   the San Diego Union Tribune to tell us.  This is "Jaws" revisited and for real.

   More and more sightings of Great White sharks are being spotted
                     in Southern California, especially in San Diego.  See a long list here.
                     A swimmer was attacked and killed  here by a huge Great White in 2008, 5 months after
                     this Blog was written.
           wpe1BC.jpg (37444 bytes)


                           Nothing taps into primordial human fears more than contemplating being
                  attacked by a shark, especially a Great White.  Potentially this has personal meaning,
                  as I swim regularly in the waters described here.  Our local monoply daily newpaper,
                  the San Diego Union Tribune, comforts readers by telling them the odds of their
                  being attacked by a shark are "one in 300 million". 

                  ( http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040222/news_mz1c22odds.html  )            

   Two days ago, TV stations in San Diego reported that a kayaker reported seeing a
                  shark twice as long as his 12 foot kayak.  This took place 150 yards off La Jolla Cove,
                  where I swim regularly when the water is warmer and the waves are not too high. 
                  ( http://www.fox6.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=155d74b4-ef30-4cfa-87f4-397f6d0637ee&rss=800 )

                          Exactly like the Nantucket town fathers in Jaws I, who were more concerned
                  about scaring away tourists, than warning swimmers of the dangerous sightings
                  of a Great White, the ever venal San Diego Tribune failed to report the sighting in the paper
                  the next day,  I looked for it.  I hate to spend such 50 cents on pre-digested, slanted news. 
                  San Diego lifeguards took it seriously, though.  They have to go into the water!
                  They recognized that the report came from a man who was an experienced  local kayaker.  
                  They immediately sent out observer boats, helicopters and warned swimmers at La Jolla
                  Cove.   The shark was not spotted. 

                        Great whites are found in large populations off the the coasts of Australia, South
                  Africa and California.  Locally, Scripps Oceanographic researchers have tagged
                  100 San Diego sharks.  They claim that young Great White spend their early years
                  off the coasts of Baja and Southern California.  The larger ones move to areas north
                  and south of San Francisco, where adults find ample seals and sea lions to feed on.

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The problem with this dismissive attitude is that hundreds of
                 seals and sea lions now make their homes a few hundreds yards just south of La Jolla
                 Cove or just east of it among the caves and rocks in the heart of a marine reserve.
                 Casa Cove has "been taken over by seals. Seals use it as a beaching spot year round."
                 They used to climb upon a large a rock just offshore.  But at high tide they were always
                 getting washed off the rock.  About ten years they started coming in throngs to Casa
                 (Children's) Cove.  Previously children and families swam there in large numbers because
                 of the large breakwater that keeps out waves.  Despite the human protests, it was
                 officially decided under the Marine Mammal Protection Act  that the seals had first claim
                 to what was once called Children's Cove.  Fecal contamination from the seals has clinched
                 the deal.  Seals now use the beach exclusively.  The seals and their pups are delighted
                 and make great marine photography.   I  personally have counted 139 seals and sea lions
                 lying quite peacefully on the beach there a few Decembers ago. Signs are everywhere.
                 People are not allowed to touch, hassle, bother, bullyrag or torment them in any way. 
                 Usually there is a rope to keep people at least 10 feet away. (Seals may and do come up
                 to a swimmer and play with them.  This is very common.)

                   In saying this, I stress I am not "anti-seal.  Their little faces look like dark gray
                 kitties with whiskers and shorter ears.  They are fun to see swimming.  Their agility in
                 the water is remarkable.  One of their cute little pups used me as a rock, after he got tired or lost. 
                 "After all, the seals were really here first.  It's their home.  The only reason this is
                 a problem, is because there is so much human intrusion elsewhere. You can't expect
                 them to live on just a tidal rock.  Where are they are going to have their babies.   Also, they
                 are a big tourist attraction.  And there's a retirement community almost across the street.
                 People in wheel chairs are treated to something special.  Where else can they see a
                 seal rookery?"  These are the words of a  "regular" cove swimmer who is not particularly
                 concerned about the added Great White danger.  "Put things in perspective.  Sharks
                 kill fewer than 20 people a year.  And people have killed 20 million of them".

                               But Great Whites do kill people in San Diego:

In June 1959, a man was eaten just outside La Jolla cove by a Great White.  For years
                 the press has made it seem that this attack never took place because his body was never
                 recovered.   As a result of this orchestrated cover-up by the only daily newspaper in
                 San Diego, swimmers to this day will tell you that the attack is a myth.   But the evidence
                 is overwhelming it did.  I have even talked to people who were there that day.  Two people,
                 besides the victim, witnessed and reported this shark attack.  Their full account is shown
                 near the bottom of this page.
                         In 1994, Michelle von Emster age 25 died when a Great White shark killed her
                 while swimming off of Point Loma, California. Her leg was bitten off according to the
                 San Diego County medical examiners office.  The San Diego Union Tribune mentioned
                 this attack ten years later, saying the woman was probably already dead (from what?) 
                 and that the sharks were simply scavanging.  More likely, she took off her clothes,
                 went swimming, was attacke dby the shark who mistook her for a seal, bit off her
                 leg and then broke off the attack.  But she passed out from blood loss and shock and
                 then drowned.

                        In June 1995, a 19-year old woman was kayaking near La Jolla Cove.  A shark
                 went underneath her kayak, striking it and causing her to fall into the water.  She was
                 bitten in the head before her companions ina dinghy pulled her on board.  From a one-inch
                 tooth fragment, it was judged to be a "white shark at least 10 feet long".  She did not
                 report the attack for two weeks.   She said the only thing that saver her was that she had
                  a helmet on.   Nothing appeared in the paper about this case.

http://calacademy.org/research/scipubs/pdfs/v57/proccas_v57_n17.pdf )
http://www.kayaksportfishing.com/wwwboard/messages/1051.htm )

                       August 2003 - Tweny five liles north of La Jolla is San Onofre State Beach.  Lifeguards reported
                  that they saw great whites almost daily in the surf zone.  There were babies, only 6 to 8 feet long!
                  Surfers were warned and the beaches were left open.
                  ( http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20030831-9999_2m31sharks.html )

                      A local weekly, the La Jolla Village News casts doubts on these known attacks, presumably
                  to keep the tourists coming! "These (cases) are controversial and may or may not have occurred.
                  It is frquently debated."   Everything I see in the way of Scripps research seems to be dismissive
                  of the dangers posed by sharks.  It is though they are "bought and paid for" by the local
                  Chamber of Commerce.
.  ( http://www.sdnews.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/08/17/44e4e3b7c1c4
f    ) 

wpe2E.jpg (6529 bytes)       The Casa Cove seals seem content, well-fed and unlikely
                                                                      to move.   The fish there seem ample.

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A White Shark bitten seal at La Jolla's Casa Cove.
(Source: http://friendsofthechildrenspool.com/lajollaseals_sharks.htm )

A 14'-18' Great White was seen eating a seal at La Jolla
cove in November 2002.  This was reported by
Union Tribune on November 30, 2002. 
( http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/outdoors/20021130-9999_mz1s30power.html   )
Others have also been seen.

                                                 White Sharks Go Where Seals Congregate

                                       The California Fish and Game Department advises swimmers that in order
                           to avoid an encounter with a Great White, they should not "swim in or near areas
                           frequented by sea lions, harbor seals...elephant seals,,,and their rookeries..."  The
                           growing seal population at Casa Cove clearly is increasing the risk of a shark attack
                           to any of he thousands who swim or dive at nearby beaches.  It is significant that
                           shark sightings are on the rise, as are sightings of seals wounded by shark bites.

wpe31.jpg (16403 bytes)    wpe35.jpg (16300 bytes)
  Just north of Casa is La Jolla Cove.  A Great White killed       
  San Diego surfer shown here is swimming between two sharks.
  an abalone diver here in July 1959

  wpe2B.jpg (36256 bytes)    
  Swimmers swim to the 1/4 mile buoy just to the right of this picture.  The Great
  White attack in 1959 was just to the right of the rocks that guard the cove.   I have
  swum and dove with scuba tanks here hundreds of times.  Once I did see a 6 foot
  shark.  Upon seeing me, it turned around and swam quickly away, though not as fast
  I did back to shore.  A half mile north of this, the ocean floor drops off to 500'.
  This is called the "Canyon"  Twenty years ago, at 80' depth,  I saw a giant tuna at 100'
  that looked like a miniature submarine.  I have dove among and been circled by 6' reef
  white tip sharks in Hawaii.  My diving partner and I even trapped one in an underwater
  cave and it swam by, only inches away.  So, I know shark encounters are hardly all dangerous.
  But Great White are clearly a menace.  In 1984, four shark attacks took place, one of
  them was fatal near Santa Cruz.  In 1992 there were three more attacks among the islands
  south of Santa Barbara,   There are many cases where they attack humans,
  possibly confusing them for seals.  Will I go swimming next year when the water warms?
  Yes.  But, my concerns are heightened.  And any more Great White sightings may
  make me take up something safer, possibly hang gliding!

                                  Great White Attack in  La Jolla - 1959. 

    On a Sunday in June 1959, when the water temperature was probably around 58-60
    degrees, the same as that near San Francisco later in the summer, Robert Pamperin, age 33,
    was attacked and killed by a Great White while free diving for abalone in about 30 feet of water. 
    He and his diving companion, Gerald Lehrer, age 30, were about 50 yards out from La Jolla Cove.
    Lehrer heard Pamperin shout.  A second or so later, his friend disappeared under the surface
    and the water turned red.  Lehrer dove down, only to see his companion in the jaws of a shark
    he reckoned to be more than 20 feet long.  He saw the shark violently shaking Pamperin under water.
    This is what sharks do to kill and swallow what they have attacked. The attack was also witnessed by
    a man onshore  He had turned when he heard the cry for HELP.   This shows how close to shore
    the attack was.  A full account may be seen at http://www.sharkresearchcommittee.com/unprovoked_diver.htm
    They catalogue Pacific Coast shark attacks.

    Great White Videos

       Sharks and seals in panic -

       Compare size of human and shark -
      Sheer power -  http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=210_1194202541   


 wpe2C.jpg (3609 bytes)             Animals To Look for at La Jolla Cove.

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                              California Leopard Sharks

    wpe2F.jpg (26881 bytes)
    Shovelnose Guitar Fish are plentiful.  They can get to be close to
    six feet in length and weigh in at 40 lbs.  They spawn in July en masse
    about 3/4 miles east of La Jolla cove on sandy bottoms in very shallow
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    Thornback ray (Pictures from http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/shorecrab/Common_Rays.htm )

    wpe25.jpg (5549 bytes)
    They are cute, huh?












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