This is video well worth sharing -- and with a likely connection to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's great white shark research project:
Adventure sportsman Chuck Patterson was stand-up paddle surfing off San Onofre in southern California recently when he and his buddies encountered two sharks in the water.
The next day he headed back out, with a pole-video camera in hand, to see if they'd come back. As he explains on his Vimeo video entry, two young great whites swam over to check him out. He caught one on camera during a brief encounter; the second stayed around for 15 minutes.
Around the 1:16 to 1:30 mark on the video, you'll notice something yellow-green on the shark's left side. According to John O'Sullivan, with our white shark research team, it's very likely the leader left behind when one of electronic data tags we put on young sharks pops free and transmits its data via satellite to our researchers in the lab. (John's pictured above, with our veterinarian, Dr. Mike Murray, releasing a tagged shark.)
We won't know for certain if this was was one of ours -- unless Chuck or another surfer is willing to wipe the algae off and record the identifying number on the leader next time he spots the shark.
We do know that we -- and many others -- see lots of young great whites in southern California. Outdoor writer Peter Thomas just wrote about the apparent population boom among great whitesin state waters. We and our colleagues have tagged 38 young white sharks off Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties since our project began in 2002
For now, enjoy Chuck's memorable video clip!