Shark Attacks Rare But Predators Are There

Shark attacks in the area are not common, but the silent hunters of the ocean hang out in the Monterey Bay much more often than you think.

Even with all the warning signs posted along the beaches about the , people are still packing the beaches and heading straight for the water either for a swim or just a relaxing day of fishing.

According to Dr. Greg Cailliet, a professor at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, it’s not uncommon at this time of the year for sharks to be close to the shore and they normally swim around the Año Nuevo area as well.

As to what may have caused the great white to attack the 52-year-old Fremont man's kayak, Cailliet's first assumption is that it was feeding time for the silent hunter of the sea. 

Although there has been a sudde increase in krill, which has attracted whales, Cailliet said that wasn't the cause, and that although some sharks do munch on krill, the great white’s diet mainly consists of bigger fish like tuna or anchovies and larger sea mammals.

Ed Burrell, the owner of the , hypothesized that the kayaker’s silhouette may have resembled that of a sea lion or seal and the shark’s initial reaction was food for his belly.

Burrell was on the wharf and working when the man was attacked.

“When he came in I was kind of busy and my thought was maybe a dolphin came up near him,” said Burrell, who was on the Wharf when the incident occurred. “But I saw the — good size.”

“That’s why you don’t see me kayak fishing, as much as I like to fish,” added Burrell. “I’ve been out in the water and I feel fairly safe in here, but they do cruise around here.”

Also according to Cailliet, an investigation will take place soon and shark expert Dr. Robert Lea will be in charge on what could have triggered the attack.

And although this has only been the second shark attack in more than two decades, Burrell has one sure-fire way of avoiding becoming shark bait.

“Stay out of the water," he said. "It’s like getting struck by lightning, but if you're in the water long enough, [you're in danger]."

Are you worried about shark's after last week's attack? Will you go back in the ocean any time soon? Tell us in the comments!


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