A California surfer was killed Tuesday, almost certainly by a great white shark. The attack comes in a year when sightings of white sharks are up on both coasts. Scientists are trying to find out why.
Specialists are investigating the bite marks in the torso of a man killed at a popular swimming spot near Vandenberg Air Force Base to determine the species of shark in the attack, but experts have suggested that it is almost certainly a great white.
The death is the 13th in California waters since 1950, but the fifth since 2003. That increased rate of fatal attacks, combined with an increasing number of great white sightings this summer on both coasts, has led to speculation over what is behind the increased interface.
Some scientists say better management of the commercial fishing industry has led to a substantial increase in the white shark population.