Shark! Sightings prompt Long Beach to post warnings along coast

Long Beach officials have issued a shark advisory posting signs over the weekend for the Peninsula area to alert the public to the sightings of 10-20 juvenile Great White sharks.

"People are allowed to swim; beaches are open, but we want the public to be informed," Long Beach Marine Safety Chief Gonzalo Medina told City News Service. "The advisory will be in place through the weekend. We will evaluate on Monday and make a determination on whether to remove it or extend it.

"The numbers are consistent with what we witnessed last spring," Medina said. "We believe a thriving ecosystem in the Long Beach Harbor is contributing to the presence of sharks in our waters."

No injuries are reported, he said. "At this time none of the sharks we have confirmed in Long Beach have
displayed any aggressive behavior. We conduct regular patrols of the area and are monitoring closely."

Media attention to the shark sightings has drawn a greater than normal number of boaters to the area in search of a closer look.

"We discourage any behavior that disrupts the sharks in their natural habitat," Medina said.

The Long Beach Peninsula separates Alamitos Bay from the Pacific Ocean in the Belmont Shore-Naples area. "Marine safety will continue to take reports from the public and actively work to confirm sightings," a Long Beach Fire Department.

Shark sightings have been on the rise in Orange County, just north of the area at San Onofre State Beach where a 35-year-old woman was bitten by a shark last Saturday. She is still on a respirator at Scripps Memorial Hospital
La Jolla.

Some Orange County beaches, notably in San Clemente, were temporarily deemed off-limits to swimmers this week in response to a spike in shark sightings. According to the Orange County Register, a pair of surfers were
chased from the water at Upper Trestles, and another shark was spotted acted aggressively at Lower Trestles.

Nine sharks were seen around Poche Beach in Dana Point, and an 11-foot shark was spotted swimming under the San Clemente pier, the Register reported.

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