Basking sharks showing up off Southern California coast
VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — Basking sharks are being spotted frequently along the coast of Southern California, where the species all but vanished decades ago.
Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab Director Christopher Lowe tells the Ventura County Star it’s been 30 years since basking sharks have been seen in the area in large numbers.
Lowe says there’s been a spate of sightings off Ventura and in Santa Monica Bay.
Known as “gentle giants,” basking sharks can grow to be 30 feet (9.14 meters) long, though the ones seen locally have been in the 18- to 25-foot range (5.5 to 7.6 meters).
Swimming with their mouths wide open and often near the surface, they are filter feeders, consuming tiny food such as plankton.
Information from: Ventura County Star, http://venturacountystar.com