The landlord’s in town, and the rent is due

A sobering summary of recent shark activity in Santa Barbara County by Peter Howarth, director of the SB Marine Mammal Center (courtesy of Shark Research Committee):

  • 14 April 2012 Shark attacked adult female sea lion off Stearn’s Wharf, Santa Barbara Harbor.  Sea lion rescued by harbor patrol, then it was brought to the dock to Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center (SBMMC) volunteers, where it died from shock and blood loss;
  • 20 July 2012 Male southern sea otter attacked at Guadalupe Dunes. Rescued by ranger and brought halfway to Santa Barbara, where it was picked up by SBMMC volunteers. Transferred to Mike Harris of CA Dept. Fish & Game for necropsy;
  • 15-20 July 2012 Adult female California sea lion attacked, received two bites on pelvic area;
  • 25 July 2012 Sea lion above reported on mooring buoy off East Beach, Santa Barbara. Sea lion left when harbor patrol approached too closely;
  • 25 July 2012 Sea lion attacked by shark off Leadbetter Point, Santa Barbara (Properly called Santa Barbara Point). Reported by Dan Collie, charter boat captain;
  • 27 July 2012 Sea lion attacked during period 20-25 July rescued but had to be euthanized;
  • *10-11 August 2012 Male Pacific harbor seal, 5-6 months old, attacked off Carpinteria sea rookery;
  • 12 August 2012 Above harbor seal reported on beach at rookery but washed away before rescued;
  • 13 August 2012 Harbor seal rescued. Bite on dorsal chest and another on pelvic area. Shattered pelvic bones. Animal died 16 August;
  • 14 August 2012 (0930): Eight-foot shark approached paddle boarder closely off Carpinteria.  Lifted head out of water to look at person;
  • **14 August 2012 (1720): Shark approached within 5 feet of surfer. It was 5-6 feet between dorsal and caudal fin; girth estimated at 3 feet. Estimated shark at 10 – 14 feet total length;
  • 15 August 2012 6-foot great white seen underwater by urchin diver off Santa Barbara light in afternoon (west of Leadbetter Beach about one mile); and 15 August 2012  Another shark reported seen by surfer friend of urchin diver off Leadbetter. No other details.


5 thoughts on “The landlord’s in town, and the rent is due”

  1. Any idea why the shark didn’t eat the marine mammals?

    As for the human encounters, I wouldn’t want to be the human doing the encountering. That said, it seems almost reassuring. We know the landlord is out there–it’s good to know that he wasn’t interested in the humans.

    1. There’s much we don’t know about the lives of sharks and marine mammals. My guess is the ones the SBMMC rescued were the ones that “got away.” Presumably many other pinnipeds weren’t as lucky, and their remains sunk to the bottom, never seen by humans.

      Exactly – the landlord is always there. They’re cruising around among us – sometimes we see them, usually we don’t – and they’re not interested.

  2. “*10-11 August 2012 Male Pacific harbor seal, 5-6 months old, attacked off Carpinteria sea rookery;”

    Yikes! The turnaround for my favorite swim from Rincon Point was just 100 yards from there.

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