Sharks as big as small buses return to Southern California waters

California
basking shark

Basking sharks, known for their gentle and calm nature and preference for warmer waters, are apparently making a comeback in Southern California waters. 

Recent sighting have been reported off Ventura and the Santa Monica Bay, CSU Long Beach Shark Lab director Christopher Lowe tells the Ventura County Star.

“It has really been 30 years since we’ve seen them in any numbers,” Lowe said to the publication. 

The basking sharks started making regular daily sightings in April in the waters of the Channel Islands National Park, with some reporting as many as 20 sharks in a day. 

The basking shark is the second biggest species in the world after the whale shark. 

Adults can grow up to 39-feet long. 

According to the Museum Victor, the plankton-eating sharks have long been vulnerable to the multi-million dollar shark fin trade. 

They are protected in some territorial waters under various EU, UK, and international laws, though illegal trade and hunting continue.

The NOAA used to have regular aerial surveys and launched a research program in 2009 to find out more about the sharks.

To report a basking shark sighting, call 858-546-7023.

Boaters who see basking sharks are advised to slow down and give them space to avoid crashing into the sharks.

CNN contributed to this report. 

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