DR. DOMEIER: Well, there were, within a pretty short time, three sea lions killed off Santa Barbara, and I think that just – they’re just being cautious. This time of year adult, mature pregnant white sharks come into the shallow waters to give birth and at least that’s a hypothesis that I’ve been working on. And it seems pretty clear from incidental gill net captures of young of the year white sharks that that is, in fact, the case, that from about April to August we’re getting baby white sharks dropped off here and then the females turn around and take off again.
DR. DOMEIER: You know, I probably not. I mean, it is a possibility but Southern California is not a – it’s not a favorite habitat for adult white sharks. It seems that they just pass through here or they come here to give birth and then they leave. The adult white sharks really prefer that area around the Farallon Islands and Guadalupe Island. And what I actually believe is that what they really want to be is out in the middle of the ocean. That is their preferred habitat, that they are really an oceanic shark and they come to shore only to give birth and to mate. Of course, this – I’m talking to you very freely about an hypothesis I have, and you’ll find other scientists that will probably disagree with me.
Why So Cal for breeding?
DR. DOMEIER: Well, it happens to be the habitat that the young need to survive. They need the shallow coastal waters and there’s probably some element of temperature that’s just right for them. So the females travel a long ways, you know, they’ll probably come 1500 miles from offshore to give birth in a specific location before they’re just turning around and going back offshore.
(Where do Great Whites Breed in Atlantic?)
… in CA it’s not smaller Great Whites that attack… but in Australia and South Africa it is??!
DR. DOMEIER: Not as juveniles but, you know, when they start to transition to sub-adults they can be a threat. In fact, it’s interesting. In February, I held an international white shark symposium in Hawaii and pretty much all my colleagues from around the world came. And it was interesting for me to learn that in South Africa and Australia, where you often hear about white shark attacks, those are all a result of sub-adults. They don’t even know where their adult white sharks are. They rarely see adults in those two locations. So they’re talking about sharks that are in the 9 to 12 foot range.