Sharks being tracked and monitored off the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base

Posted at 7:09 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 22:32:16-04

Sharks are now being tracked and monitored off the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Vincent Culliver is a member of the Jurassic Sport Fishing Club and has helped tag sharks ranging in size from 10 to 20 feet.

He says the sharks are frequenting the Central Coast because of an abundance of prey in the area.

Following an incident in 2014 in which a shark bit into a kayak, members of the Jurassic Sport Fishing Club were asked to help a shark researcher tag and monitor sharks in waters that border Vandenberg Air Force Base.

According to Culliver, in recent years, members of the fishing club would sometimes spot five to eights sharks a day.

Over the last four years, members have been able to tag 10 to 15 sharks with the most recent taking place just last week,

"All the sharks we see are not tagged," said Culliver. "No sharks are already cataloged so a lot of them that are here are never seen in other shark tagging efforts."

The public can also monitor the sharks' movement with an app called Expedition White Shark.

"From September to November, December time frame is when we see an influx here," said Culliver.

According to Culliver, the influx is not solely specific to Surf Beach which is known for its shark encounters, but rather the entirety of the coast from Avila Beach down to Vandenberg.

Long-time diver Jack Ward sees the benefits of utilizing an app like Expedition White Shark to know when and where sharks are located.

"I know that app would be convenient," said Ward. "They would come off of Vandenberg and they tag the sharks out there in the waters where I was saying we would used to dive and don't so much anymore."

When the sharks are tagged, information is taken and entered into the app so they are identifiable for future reference.

According to Culliver, the tagging process does not harm the sharks and is in fact not only approved by the state but encouraged.

The Expedition White Shark app is available in the App Store and on Google Play for $3.99.