DEL MAR — Shark sightings have become increasingly common in recent weeks at several beaches in North County and beyond.
Del Mar’s chief lifeguard, John Edelbrock, said the city has logged eight sightings since June 22. As of the time of publication, the most recent sighting in Del Mar was on July 26.
He said most of the sharks the lifeguards have seen in Del Mar have been juvenile sharks, which are about 6 to 7 feet long. The sharks’ behavior has been docile — “not aggressive in any way,” he said.
Del Mar is not the only city to report sharks along its beaches. Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad have confirmed sightings as well. A dead white shark also washed ashore in Carlsbad in mid-July. Sharks have also been spotted recently as far south as Coronado and as far north as San Clemente.
“They’ve keyed into enjoying our coastal waters a little more in the past couple of years,” Edelbrock said.
According to a press release issued by the city of Solana Beach, the sharks have been spotted approximately 300 yards off shore, and have not approached any swimmers or surfers.
Edelbrock said the recent spate of multiple sightings is “unique” and not something he’s seen in his three decades working for the city. But he also attributed an increase in the number of sightings to more people out in the water for the summer.
But regardless, lifeguards along the coast are taking precautions, posting advisory signs on the beaches and remaining vigilant. Edelbrock said the Lifeguard Department has been shifting its focus further out into the water, searching for certain behaviors and using a drone to scope out sharks.
Beaches have not been closed, based on statewide protocol developed by the California Marine Safety Chiefs Association.
Lexy Brodt covers all things Del Mar and Solana Beach for The Coast News, with a primary interest in coastal development. A North County native turned UW-Madison alumna, she has produced for Wisconsin Public Radio and reported for The San Diego Union-Tribune and Wisconsin State Journal.