Chris Lowe, director of the California State University-Long Beach Shark Lab, explains how the bites have not occurred in isolation, but rather, have followed a pattern for years: around this time of year, groups of young great whites will congregate close to shore in “hot spots,” or regions in which sharks periodically frequent.
Baby great whites, and those that are one-, two-, and up to three-years old, seem to prefer these zones around the start of summer. “To give you a frame of reference, a baby is about five feet long at birth,” Lowe says. “They’ll grow a foot a year for their first three years.
A food source that has long been scarce along Southern California beaches, then, is seeing a seasonal bump in numbers closer to shore, and sharks are moving closer to the buffet. “Many of those seals and sea lions are migratory,” says Lowe. “They’ll migrate to the middle of the Pacific.
According to Lowe, fishery data that dates back 100 years shows how juvenile white sharks — not full-grown adults, he notes — have been tracked particularly and densely in the areas around Ventura, in Santa Monica Bay, off Huntington Beach, and San Onofre.
For example, San Onofre, where Ericson was attacked, seems to attract slightly older sharks; Lowe described it as more of “the kindergarten” for great whites. “That’s where those toddler sharks will hang out.
Read more here: Surfer Mag