Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

On the one hand:

There is an on-going controversy at La Jolla Children's Pool involving the presence of California Harbor Seals. Please note that to local San Diegan's this is a very emotional issue. The vast majority of locals and visitors would prefer the Children's Pool be reserved for the use of the seals. However, there is a small but vocal and sometimes intimidating group of divers and other ocean users that believe the Children's Pool should be for humans only--even if that means the loss of a small but important seal habitat. As noted above, we strongly recommend that visitors find another beach to enter the water--both for their personal safety and the safety of the seal population that uses the beach for resting and giving birth to their young.

On the other hand:

Lifeguards are urging caution after half a dozen great white shark sightings have been reported along the Southern California coast in the last week, but experts downplayed the risk of attacks on humans, saying there is no cause for alarm.

San Diego lifeguards issued a warning Sunday for two miles of coastline from La Jolla Cove to Scripps Pier after a kayaker reported seeing what appeared to be a large great white swimming off La Jolla Shores. Later that day, lifeguards spotted a shark's 20-inch dorsal fin sticking out of the water about 50 yards from the beach.

"We didn't close the beach, we just let people know — the scuba divers, kayakers and swimmers — that there's been shark sightings and just use your own judgment on whether to go out or not," said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.,0,2013223.story?track=rss

I'm no expert, but isn't there a fairly obvious correlation between the presence of prey species and predatory species? Wouldn't we expect sharks to be more prevalent where their natural prey species prevail?

And that, in turn, raises another question. Are so-called conservationist putting surfers, swimmers, scuba divers, &c., at risk by protecting the seals and sea lions on beaches frequented by beach-goers? More bluntly, are environmentalists to blame raising the incidence of shark attacks on humans?

Mind you, there are environmentalists and conservationists who just don't care.


  1. "Mind you, there are environmentalists and conservationists who just don't care."

    Yeah, there are a few (not sure how representative they are of the whole community) who seem to fantasize about just how wonderful life on this planet would be without those pesky humans...

  2. To paraphrase Quint: "Seal goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water."