The Truth about White Sharks and Shark Attacks
When You Thought It Was Safe to Go in the Water: The Truth about White Sharks and Shark Attacks
Free Presentation with Q&A
Thursday, December 19th, 6:30PM
Faulkner Gallery – Santa Barbara Public Library
40 East Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA
Is it safe to go into the water again, especially in Santa Barbara, when white sharks seem to be showing up everywhere? Peter Howorth has collaborated closely with the Shark Research Committee and with various government agencies for over 40 years. As director of the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center for more than 40 years, he saw a tremendous increase in shark attacks on seals and sea lions over the past decade. Government officials saw similar dramatic increases at the Channel Islands. Along the mainland coast, officials saw a huge increase in fatal attacks on sea otters in northern Santa Barbara County and southern San Luis Obispo County. In Southern California, shark attacks on humans have increased sevenfold over the past two decades. Howorth separates fact from fiction, unfounded assumptions from documented investigations, and general speculations from actual scientific research.
Peter Howorth has followed the sea since he was ten years old, first as a recreational diver, later as a competitive free diver, then as a commercial abalone diver and fisherman, and finally as a professional photographer and writer, whose credits appear in everything from National Geographic to local magazines. He has worked as a columnist for the News-Press for over 40 years. He has worked with marine mammals since 1964 and founded the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center in 1976, which is still involved in rescuing whales entangled in various types of human debris. The Center has rescued thousands of marine mammals and has sponsored rescue and research expeditions to Mexico, the Galápagos and Japan. 1992, he started a consulting group with a partner to work out mitigation strategies to protect marine wildlife. He has written and implemented hundreds of mitigation plans and has written the marine wildlife sections of many environmental compliance documents. He has collaborated with virtually every government agency on research and mitigation and has been involved with shark research for over 40 years.
This talk is part of the ongoing Wilderness Hiking Speaker Series hosted by the Santa Barbara Public Library. The talks are the third Thursday of the month and feature topics related to hiking and backpacking, the outdoors, and the natural history and lore of our local region.
The next talk in the series is Thursday, January 16th, Backcountry Trails Update with Bryan Conant - Los Padres Forest Association.