sharks

Shark sightings along the Carpinteria-Summerland coastline have calmed down in recent weeks.

For most of the spring, there had been numerous sightings of both leopard sharks and great white sharks.

Many of those spotted near the shores were likely juveniles, while the adults were spotted further out.

Photo by Darcy Bradley

A UC Santa Barbara researcher has been studying how scuba diving with sharks – which has become a multi-million-dollar global tourism industry -- impacts the shark population. The findings were surprising.

With a quarter of shark species at risk of extinction, Darcy Bradley, a postdoctoral researcher with the Sustainable Fisheries Group at UCSB, wanted to know if scuba diving influences the behavior and the abundance of shark populations.

“So, our question very simply was:  Do sharks avoid areas that are frequented by scuba divers?” she said.