New study reveals great white shark behavior toward beachgoers

Groundbreaking research documents great white shark behavior towards people in the ocean – and no one is getting eaten!

Cal State Long Beach released a new study that – for the first time – documents just how close juvenile great white sharsk get to waders, swimmers, surfers and standup paddle boarders at beaches where they tend to congregate as juveniles, before setting off on adult migrations. 

The two-year study, researched by graduate student Patrick Rex, used aerial surveys of nearshore along 26 beaches of the Southern California coastline. They found that in beaches like Carpinteria and La Jolla, where shark aggregations occur, water users were found in proximity of sharks 97-98% of the days they surveyed. Most of the time, people were oblivious. 

The State of California Shark Research program works with CSULB Shark Lab with the purpose of figuring out if and how sharks and humans can coexist safely on our beaches. The information is funneled to lifeguards, so they can better assess ocean users’ safety. 

"Our goal was to determine how often water users were interacting with white sharks across 

"Southern California, so we could begin to determine if these sharks pose a significant risk to human, which has never been done in the US before," said Dr. Christopher Lowe, director of the Shark Lab.

"I think people will be shocked at our findings," he adds.

Those interested in learning more about the study or checking out the images can click here.