Recent shark sightings off the Southern California coastline have surprised beachgoers in recent weeks. But experts say great white and hammerhead sharks may not be a rare sight, as warmer weather is drawing dozens of the fish to the coast.
On Thursday, signs warning beachgoers about a shark sighting were posted in the sand in Huntington Beach after a lifeguard spotted a 7-foot hammerhead shark.
The sighting prompted a shark advisory one mile north and south of the Huntington Beach Pier.
In another encounter, a kayaker in Dana Point Harbor caught an aggressive hammerhead on camera circling his boat multiple times.
"He came by, hit the boat like that and bumped me and took off," said Bill Morales.
Curiosity about the latest shark sightings brought a full house to a lecture in Newport Beach Thursday, where Cal State Long Beach shark lab director Chris Lowe explained the role El Niño plays in the recent sightings.
"When we have an El Niño, a strong el niño like we are having now, it brings in a completely different set of characters, a tropical cast, "said Lowe. "It's the red crab, the yellow tail, the tuna-- and they're followed by predators."
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Although Lowe said he hasn't heard of too many aggressive encounters, people should still be cautious if out on the waters fishing.