California’s “Red Triangle” Is Known For Over 1/3 of Great White Shark Attacks

Yana Bostongirl
Great White sharkPhoto by Mile Ribeiro

California is home to some amazing beaches, however, there is a particular stretch of ocean that has a bloody reputation.

The Red Triangle is the colloquial name of a roughly triangle-shaped region off the coast of northern California, extending from Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, out slightly beyond the Farallon Islands, and down to the Big Sur region, south of Monterey.

Per reports, the roughly 200 miles of coastline is referred to as the Red Triangle because over one-third of shark attacks occur in this area due to the large population of marine mammals such as elephant seals, harbor seals, sea otters, and sea lions.

Researchers say there are currently 300 Great White sharks roaming the Red Triangle, a 35% increase from 10 years ago, that is attributed to several conservation efforts. Oregon State University researcher and study co-author Taylor Chapple further explains the study in this statement: “The finding, a result of eight years of photographing and identifying individual sharks in the group, is an important indicator of the overall health of the marine environment in which the sharks live. Robust populations of large predators are critical to the health of our coastal marine ecosystem. So our findings are not only good news for white sharks but also for the rich waters just off our shores here."

Beach goers in the Red Triangle are cautioned to be on alert and use good judgment as this excerpt elaborates: "The beaches of the Red Triangle are known to attract many visitors, including swimmers and surfers, but adventure there at your own risk. It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of all great white shark attacks in the United States happen in this region, and 11 percent of total shark attacks in the world."

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