California Great Whites


California is host to probably one of largest Great White shark populations in the world. Simply put, this coastal state has the right range of water temperatures and good food sources for Great Whites. The two main population centers for adult Great White Sharks is the Farallon Islands off of San Francisco and Mexico’s Guadalupe Island. The southern coast of CA is a nursery for YOY (Young of Year- less than a year old 5.7ft) and juvenile Great Whites (5.8-11.4ft). (11.5 ft and up is considered an adult shark)

An increase in sightings has some people worried and others excited. Here are some articles, videos and research papers that explain the movement patterns of sharks in CA, where most sharks are found and what the increase in sightings really mean.

The Shark Lab at the California State University in Long Beach is one of the authorities on California White Sharks. Their page holds a wealth of information on every aspect of this topic.


To start, this video of a presentation by Dr. Chris Lowe is a must see. It gives an overview of California's fisheries management and White shark distribution. (Great White movement patterns starts at 26:45)

Other interesting articles:
O.C. sightings of great white sharks have gone up, and why that’s a good thing

The Farallon Islands Are Off-Limits to Humans but Not Wildlife

More sharks near Santa Monica?

Shark Expert Reveals What’s Lurking Off San Diego’s Shores

Stefanie Brendl