Juvenile Great White shark count:
as of Nov. 8, 2023
Weekly shark counts compliments of UCSB McCauley Lab SHARKEye Project.
Many factors all combined together have had a direct impact upon the population of this senstive environment. 2023 has seen the lowest numbers of juvenile white sharks since monitoring and tagging in this area began.
Some of hese factors may include debris basin dumping, Agriculture runoff, Red tides-domoic acid buildup from anthropogenic sources, dredging in the salt marsh a primary source of prey species for the Great White juveniles)
Reef Guardians Shark Program
Reef Guardians in California research vessel REEF GUARDIAN has been quite busy this year from sharks to reef studies along the California coastline. The vessel has played a significant role in research with tagging and tracking juvenile Great White sharks off the Santa Barbara coast line.
Sharks are a good sign of a healthy ocean environment! They are an essential, keystone species that help balance other animals in the ocean's food web, and without them, many, many other species would die. So it's important to do all we can to keep them safe and flourishing! We have been busy working closely with shark experts like Dr. Mike Heithaus at FIU in addition to our past work with Dr. Chris Lowe at CSULB Shark Lab.
L to R: Adam Ravetch, Harry Rabin, Max deGruy, Will Gale and Tom Piozet aboard Reef Guardians in Santa Barbara.
Monterey Bay Aquarium's theater still features Reef Guardians incredible Great White footage in it's film on great whites.
Environmental Nonprofit Reef Guardians Hawaii has been leading the great white research in Santa Barbara for over 7 years when we first spotted juvenile Great Whites arriving in late April of 2016. We brought in Dr. Chris Lowe and CSULB Shark Lab in 2017 and donated several resources, including our research vessel! Shark Lab tagged one juvenile great white shark last week. They also netted one 3 weeks ago and surgically implanted a transmitter. This method insures tracking for up to 10 years vs. tagging which if lucky lasts up to 1-2 years.
Our additional partnership with the Florida international University marine science team and California Fish and Wildlife are still thriving today! Our Robots on the Reef project is idle right now as we continue to seek out better in water vehicle platforms. This research brings Artificial Intelligence into the fold as it will interpret data from both water and aerial based drones as they gather imagery to help determine the health of a reef system. Our work with Fish and Wildlife is in educating the Public and the fishing community about the Great White Shark Nurseries popping up all along the California Coast! We have currently placed over 24 signs regarding awareness and regulations around Great White Sharks.