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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Taking the Bite out of the Bight: An Assessment of Non-Lethal Shark Bite Mitigation Strategies and Potential Applications in Southern California.


In recent decades, the incidence of shark encounters and bite incidents has been steadily increasing. This project seeks to address whether there are particular locations in California where the prevalence of shark bites has been higher or rising more rapidly, pinpointing the southern portion of the Southern California Bight (SCB) as a location where shark encounters and bites have been occurring with greater frequency in the two most recent decades. Notably, more incidents took place in this area from 2000-2019 than in the ‘Red Triangle’, a region in which approximately two-thirds of all California shark bites have historically occurred. In addressing the SCB, this project assesses available non-lethal shark

bite mitigation tools, with the determination that none offer viable options for use in Southern

California. Most of the current technological tools available come with high costs, low returns, and have not been extensively tested to determine their accuracy and effectiveness. This study recommends that continued effort be directed towards educating beach users to the risks inherent in ocean activities while providing practical suggestions for reducing the risk of shark bites.

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