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Going To The Beach This Summer? Here's How To Stay Safe Around Sharks

A great white shark swimming through the ocean.
A great white shark swimming through the ocean.
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Shark Week is just around the corner, and there’s a lot of talk about Southern California's coast, which during warmer months is one big nursery for baby great whites.

They’ve been known to bite people, like the young kayaker last week off Catalina, but generally that’s not the case according to Cal State Long Beach’s Shark Lab.

Chris Lowe, director of the Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab, gave us some recommendations for ocean safety this summer:

“If you see a shark, always keep your eye on that shark. Track it with your eyes, track it with your surfboard, let the shark know you see it, and quite often, they know the gig is up," said Lowe.

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Even though shark attacks may seem scary, Lowe said you’re at more risk of getting stung by a stingray, which you can avoid that by dragging your feet when you enter warm sandy water. Lifeguards call this "the stingray shuffle."

The Shark Lab is trying to reduce shark encounters using technology. They’ve been attaching tracking devices to shark fins, pinging signals off buoys, and following their migrations from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Lowe has high hopes for that data, saying they may be able to develop "shark forecasts."

For now, Lowe recommends beach-goers keep reporting all shark sightings to lifeguards.

What questions do you have about Southern California?