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Sharks swimming in Avila and Cayucos captured on camera - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Sharks swimming in Avila and Cayucos captured on camera

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Courtesy: Raymond Foster Courtesy: Raymond Foster

If you have been thinking the number of shark sightings is up this season, you are not imagining things.

There have been at least 5 credible sightings on the Central Coast since August 1, according to CAL FIRE Incident Command, which collects data from multiple agencies.

A couple of fishermen captured footage of sharks near Avila and Cayucos. Shortly after, Harbor Patrol posted warning signs at Avila Beach. The sharks are believed to be great whites; however, that still needs to be confirmed.

Timothy Ball and his friend, Mark, were fishing for Bonita and Rock Cod a mile west of Port San Luis early Wednesday morning when they realized another kind of fish was swimming towards them.

“When I looked closer, it was a shark in the water. I was really excited. I’ve never seen a shark out there,” Ball said, explaining a 12- to 14-foot shark circled their boat twice before swimming away. “He was checking us out. I wasn’t afraid. They’re just there to learn and find a good meal maybe.”

The same morning, about three miles north of Cayucos and a half mile out from The Abalone Farm, Raymond Foster snapped pictures of a shark approaching his boat.

“I literally could have reached out and touched it,” Foster said. “My friend who was fishing with me got really nervous. He said, ‘We have everything to lose and nothing to gain – let’s go!’ So we got out of there.”

He says seeing a vertical tail made him believe it was a shark rather than a dolphin.

“You kind of hold your breath for a second wondering, 'what was that I just saw?'” said Morro Bay Harbor Patrol supervisor Becka Kelly, who also surfs.

She says the warmer weather is bringing more people to the beach, and the warmer waters are bringing sharks closer to shore.

“I think we've actually seen more [sharks] this year. The last 15 years sharks have been a protected species so their numbers are going up,” Kelly said.

Eight percent of shark encounters are exploratory, according to shark expert Ralph Collier.

“It didn’t seem aggressive to me. It was more like just curious,” Foster said. “It was great. I loved it. Hope I see another one truthfully.”

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