A SoCal Lab Investigates a Rise in Human and Shark Interactions of the State’s Coastline

Close encounters.

  • Category
    Life Outside
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    franckreporter/Getty Images

With a decade long increase in human and shark encounters off the coast of California, a Long Beach laboratory is dedicating two years to study the interactions. Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach will put a $3.75-million grant toward drones, buoys and underwater robots.

According to Scientific American, “The laboratory has dramatically ramped up its efforts in order to better understand how many of the cartilaginous fish are out there and how they interact with people. The researchers are sharing their information with local lifeguards and the public to enhance safety at the beach.

“The goal is to come up with what we’d call an encounter assessment,’ says lab director Chris Lowe. “Who is most likely to encounter sharks—and under what conditions? Are sharks attacking aggressively? Are they attracted to people? Are they repelled by people, or do they just ignore people? So we’re right in the middle of a two-year study, and hopefully, by the end of this study, we’ll be able to answer those questions.”

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