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Old 09-22-2015, 11:35 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Default Rare Aggressive Hammerhead Sharks Move Into SoCAL

I just came across two videos documenting two different pretty charged up hammerhead sharks off Santa Barbara, CA. They may be running several hundred miles further north than usual tracking tuna migrations influenced by warmer El Nino conditions. They usually hang out in the Gulf of California, Baja. Supposedly white sharks are active too but they may be in more normal haunts?

A. This kayaker off Santa Barbara reportedly belted this hammerhead about 20 times over an extended interval with his paddle. The shark was said to orbit just offshore waiting once the kayaker beached.

"A kayak fisherman in California was forced to fend off a "super aggressive" hammerhead shark with his paddle after it repeatedly attempted to ram his vessel.

Mark McCracken filmed the 15-minute encounter while he fished for bonito half a mile off Gaviota State Beach, near Santa Barbara, on Saturday.

"It hit the back of my kayak twice and I turned around to see it," McCracken told NBC News. "I couldn't tell if he was biting [the kayak] or if he was head-butting it but soon as I saw it I just started going at him with the paddle."

The shark was "super aggressive," said McCracken, a 33-year-old construction worker from Santa Maria, California."
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The video is interesting showing just how aggressive and persistent the hammerhead was. I would not like to be on an SUP fishing with a similar interaction, volunteers out there? Fortunately, not only the distribution of the hammerheads is supposed to be unusual, the level of aggressiveness is said to be rare too. Still, there have been quite a few cases off Southern California in the last two years of warmer waters, read on.

B. An "adventure TV personality" had an encounter with another hammerhead off Santa Barbara. They had chum supposedly but have to say the shark seems unusually motivated.

C. A diver was also attacked off the Cortez Banks 100 miles offshore suffering a hand injury from a hammerhead shark, also in rarely frequented waters.

"There have been several hammerhead sightings during the past few weeks, mostly off San Diego and Orange County.

A 6-foot hammerhead shark was caught from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles County earlier this month, and last week off north San Diego County a fisherman videotaped a 7-foot hammerhead circling his boat as an angler was fighting a tuna. Capt. Ryan Gillette watched as the shark bit his motor, and then thrashed with its tail, splashing the captain. (Video posted above.)

Water temperatures are as high as 75 degrees in some offshore areas. There’s a strengthening El Niño in the equatorial Pacific, and it could become the most powerful warm-water event on record. But the current warm temperatures, which are 2-5 degrees above normal, are most likely the lingering effects of another phenomenon described by scientists as the “warm blob.”
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and an article about El Nino weather patterns and warmer more northerly waters bringing hammerheads several hundred miles further north than usual.

D. "A possible record-breaking El Niño is attracting dozens of sharks, even hammerheads, off the coast of Southern California, experts say.

See the most-read stories this hour >>
The periodic ocean pattern characterized by unusually warm water in the eastern Pacific could cause heavy rain as it heats the atmosphere and changes circulation patterns, according to forecasters. But experts say the weather is drawing dozens of great white sharks and several hammerheads to the coast because their food sources are migrating from more tropical areas, the Huntington Beach Independent reported.

"You've got a whole tropical food chain that's moved into our neighborhood," said Chris Lowe, a marine biology professor at Cal State Long Beach. "That warm water is bringing that food up here, and that food is being followed by its predators. That's how we get that subtropical food web that we normally don't have showing up here."

Hammerheads are known to visit Southern California waters during El Niño years, he said. Lowe saw them in 1997 during the last El Niño and said some have been found as far north as the Central Coast.

Sightings of the strange-looking creatures have been reported off Southern California for the last two summers. But their numbers have increased as they chase yellowtail and tuna from Central America and Baja California, Lowe said."
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E. In still another incident some kayakers had a go to with a hammerhead near Scripps off La Jolla.

"Meanwhile, five hours south of the coast in San Diego, a group of kayakers were able to capture their encounter with an 8- to 10-foot hammerhead on video. Local NBC affiliate in San Diego notes that the shark was circling them and swimming under their kayaks in an aggressive and stalking manner, even going so far as following them back to shore.

The incident took place between La Jolla Cove and Scripps Pier and the beach was closed for the rest of the day as a precautionary measure."
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F. A kayaker suffered some severe foot lacerations from a 10 ft. hammerhead attack off Malibu recently. They guy had his foot over the side so the shark took a taste?
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I get the impression that there may be still more aggressive encounters that we haven't heard about. Have a care out there, the sharks may be particularly hungry, sick, who knows but it is fair to say that they seem to be unusually cranky and bite prone.

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Last edited by RickI; 09-23-2015 at 12:30 AM.
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