Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Unusual" Whale Shark in California Waters

Photo from Pete Thomas Outdoors of whale shark
near Catalina Island.
Imagine finding a 20-25 foot whale shark near Catalina Island, just 26 miles off the Southern California shoreline.  Well, a fishing boat did find one on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. That's unusual.  So unusual that Dr. Christopher Lowe, who runs the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach said that "...whale sharks are very rare in this neck of the woods."

Whale sharks are usually seen in warmer waters, like in Hawaii,  Mexico and the Sea of Cortez--not in California's cooler waters.

But unusual events continue along California's coastal waters.

Scientists who measure water temperatures from satellites, report that the surface of Pacific coast, especially in Southern California, is warmer than usual.  They write that this warming event is "...ongoing and highly unusual" for this neck of the woods (or ocean!).

What does that mean?

For one, you won't have to go to Mexico to see a whale shark! It also means other exotic sea life will likely make their way to California waters instead of the tropical waters where they normally live.

Why is this important?

Each species of sea life prefer certain temperatures of water.  So, that means changes in plankton and California's fish colony.  

So while there may be more tuna in the water, there may also be less salmon (a fish that prefers cooler waters).  

Warmer waters can also change the climate of a cool-water areas.

Stay tuned.  

Meanwhile watch this video by award winning videographer, Becky Kagan Schott, about whale sharks.

No comments:

Post a Comment