About the Shark Research Committee

Guest Speaker
Media Consultant

Pacific Coast
Shark News

Conservation & Education

Sharks of the Pacific Coast

White Shark Biosketch

Distribution and Diet of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Predatory Behavior of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Shark/Human Interactions Along the Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast
Shark Attack

Fatal Pacific Coast Shark Attacks
1900  —  Present

Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 2000 —

Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 1990s

Case Histories of Unprovoked White Shark Attacks:


White Shark Interactions with Inanimate Objects


Shark Encounters:

White Shark Encounters Along the Pacific Coast

Soupfin Shark Encounter

Reporting Forms:

  Shark Attack

  Shark Encounter

  Shark Predation

Shark Web Sites:

Recommended Links

'Save the Sharks  Save the Oceans'

Support Our Sponsors




Pacific Coast Shark News 2018

The following reports for 2018 are provided as a public service. They are intended to inform our visitors of current shark activities along the Pacific Coast of North America. To review Pacific Coast Shark News for 2003 click here, for 2004 click here, for 2005 click here, for 2006 news click here, for 2007 click here, for 2008 click here, for 2009 news click here, for 2010 news click here, for 2011 news click here, for 2012 news click here for 2013 click here for 2014 click here for 2015 click here for 2016 click here and for 2017 click here .


Carpinteria   —   On March 19, 2018 Duke Howard reported the following;"Just in from a paddle. Calm. Limited water visibility. Sunny. Went to Point (Padaro) and back. Saw a seal and about six or seven dolphins. Saw a 6 – 7 foot white shark right in front of my house when I got back. It crossed my bow, under the water, about as close as 3 feet in front of me on its way out. It is not too deep where I encounter the shark. Maybe about 20 yards out just outside the small breakers. This took place about 1:20 PM." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.


Bolinas   —   On February 4, 2018 Caleb Arata was surfing about 100 feet from shore at the Channel in Bolinas. It was 9:50 AM and he had been on the water about 45 minutes. It was an incoming tide with a 1 – 2 foot swell and a light ‘chop’ to the sea surface. The sky was clear with an estimated air temperature of 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Some 10 – 20 minutes prior to seeing the shark in the channel, I caught a wave and surfed all the way to the Stinson Beach side of the channel, where I saw a seal in about ankle deep water. It was about 10 feet away from me before it swam out into deeper water. Arata recalled; “There were about 100 surfers and a single kayaker in the Bolinas Channel, between Bolinas and Stinson Beach. I was sitting inside to catch small waves, while the occasional 3 foot wave would break 50 feet further out. There were 2 – 3 surfers further out, to catch the occasional 3 foot wave. Looking out to sea I saw the dorsal fin of a shark slowly pierce the top of the water. It was past where the larger waves would break, I would estimate 75 feet from me and 25 feet from the surfer’s further out. The fin and side of the shark were grey. It gently rolled sideways, and I saw a glimpse of white from its belly. This was not a fast or violent movement. The shark, now somewhat sideways, sank back under the water and was not seen again. It is hard to estimate size beyond the fact that the shark was large. The surfers I could see between me and the shark, 50 – 100 feet away, were on longboards, 8 – 11 feet in length. Judging from the part of the shark visible, I would estimate the total length of the shark to be greater than the length of a longboard. At least two other people saw the shark. While I have never seen a white shark in person, I do not know what else it could be. I am familiar with the appearance of white sharks from photographs and documentaries.  We informed the sole kayaker of the sighting, which he seemed to understand. He proceeded to paddle out to roughly where the shark was seen, and last I saw he was by himself, catching waves. We cautiously made our way to the beach.” Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.


January 24, 2018        NEWS RELEASE             Pacific Coast Shark Attacks During 2017

There were 9 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast of North America during 2017, with none fatal. There were 8 attacks recorded from California and 1 from Washington. The attacks were distributed in the following months; March (1), April (1), July (4) August (1), November (1), and December (1). There was 1 shark attack reported south of the southern Santa Barbara County line, with the remaining 8 attacks from Santa Barbara County north. The single Washington shark attack occurred at the Grays Harbor jetty in Westport. Activities of the victims were; Kayaking 4, Surfing 2, Paddleboarding 1, Freediving 1, and Swimming 1. The Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, was positively identified or highly suspect in all 9 of the attacks. 

The publication “Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century” authenticated 108 unprovoked shark attacks from the Pacific Coast between 1900 and 1999. The Great White Shark was implicated in 94 (87%) of the 108 confirmed attacks with an annual average of slightly more than one shark attack per year. The 9 cases reported for 2017 brings the total number of unprovoked shark attacks occurring along the Pacific Coast during the 21st Century to 103. This is ‘six times’ the Twentieth Century annual average of slightly more than one shark attack per year. The Great White Shark was positively identified or highly suspect in 92 (89%) of the 103 attacks recorded during the 21st Century. From 2000 to the present, 51 (50%) of the 103 confirmed shark attacks occurred during the three month period of August (16), September (13), and October (22). There have been 211 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast of North America from 1900 thru 2017. The Great White Shark was positively identified or highly suspect in 186 (88%) of the 211 cases. There were 8 fatal shark attacks confirmed from 1900 to 1999 and 5 fatal attacks reported from 2000 to 2017. The 13 fatal attacks represent 6% of the 211 total cases. 

Victim activity for the 103 shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast since 2000 are distributed in the following ocean user groups; surfing 62 (60%), kayaking 17 (17%), swimming 8 (8%), diving 6 (6%), paddleboarding 6 (6%), outrigger 1 (1%), windsurfing 1 (1%), fishing 1 (1%), and boogie boarding 1 (1%). There was an increase in the number of Great White Shark observations, encounters, and interactions with ‘pinnipeds,’ reported in 2017. The Shark Research Committee will continue to closely monitor these activities.


Carpinteria    On January 2, 2018 Emma Huebner was Stand-Up-Paddleboarding with her father and sister between Padaro and Summerland Beaches in Carpinteria. It was 2:30 PM and they had been on the water about 1.5 hours. The sky was overcast with an estimated air temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The ocean was calm with 1 – 2 feet of water visibility and an estimated temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit. No marine mammals were observed in the area. Huebner reported; "According to my dad and sister, who were behind me paddling in, the shark appeared to be following me as I paddled toward shore. We were about 200 yards offshore when I saw the shark and started in immediately when I saw the shark. My dad said that the shark followed me for a bit before disappearing beneath the surface. I observed the shark's  dorsal fin and tail fin surface right next to my paddleboard, towards the back of the board. My dad and sister were in kayaks and observed the shark as well. Estimation of the shark's length compared to the length of my board was 9 feet." Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.  




The material contained on this Web site is shared as a public service and to further the scientific goals of the Shark Research Committee.  All text and images on this Web site are the exclusive property of the Shark Research Committee.  Information on this Web site may be used for private study, but may not otherwise be published, duplicated, or modified in any way without the prior written permission of Ralph S. Collier.