From a nature lover’s perspective, it is a wonder to be in the water and have a seal pop up, or see a gray streamlined body shoot by in pursuit of fish. But the reality is the seals are being hunted as well and great white sharks have repeatedly been spotted in very shallow water near shore, even attacking seals close to where people swim and surf.

“Their movements are really dynamic and they can be very, very close to shore, within range of anyone who is swimming,” said state Division of Marine Fisheries shark researcher Greg Skomal. Seeing them in shallow water is not an anomaly, Skomal said. “We’ve been seeing them there right along.”

Long Beach, California, Marine Safety Chief Joe Bailey had a similar shark problem. Although they’d never had any confirmed great white sightings along the 13/4-mile stretch of beaches he oversees, earlier this spring Bailey received a video showing a couple of sharks in the breakers at Surfside Beach. Local shark expert Chris Lowe of California State University at Long Beach, identified them as juvenile great whites.

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