Record number of shark attacks on otters

September 16, 2010

A record number of shark bitten otters were found along California’s central coast, primarily in the Pismo Beach and Morro Bay areas, in August, according the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

Scientists collected 19 injured or dead otters with signs of shark attacks last month. The 10 year average for August is seven.

The agency contends the increase in shark-bitten otters along the central coast is because of cooler than average ocean temperatures creating ideal conditions for white sharks.

“White sharks do not typically feed on sea otters,” said Michael Harris, environmental scientist with DFG’s office of spill prevention and response. “Their preferred prey is seals and sea lions. This would explain why the majority of the otters collected have a single bite mark. These bites are more investigative – like a taste test.”

According to the DFG, white sharks do no typically prey on humans. White sharks have attacked 95 humans since 1950 with only 11 fatalities.


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3 Comments

  1. danika says:

    I think the sharks are making a political statement against the turbulent election campaign for Governor. No doubt hired by Meg Whitman…

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. easymoney says:

    What is the number of otters now? Population up or down?
    The number of shark attacks on humans would, it seem to me, correspond to the growth of the human population much like the otter population…

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • Alon_Perlman says:

      Otter population is down. last few years, multiple reasons
      Number of sharks decreases with the growth of Human population, because humans kill more sharks then sharks kill humans. humans also compete directly with sharks for food or for food that the sharks main prey eat.
      The number of Great whites does not go up with an increase in the number of Humans or Otters killed by great sharks because Great whites rarely consume Humans or Otters..The Article notes The water temperature.
      What is probably happening is an increase in bait fish and larger fish and the fish or crustaceans ate by seals and sea lions. the sea lions are coming in closer to where the Otters are and the Great whites are following the larger sea mammels. The sharks probably mistake the otters for yummy baby seal snacks.
      then they spit them out
      Humans are less lkely to be in the water in the cold unless the surf is really good.
      Overall due to increase of humans receating in the water and instant reporting worldwide there is an increase of reported encounters.

      THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO LAND SHARKS

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down

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