DEL MAR, Calif. — Beautiful and clear images to see taken by a college student here visiting family while taking online classes, Jedd Wasson says he was in for a treat when his camera captured multiple sharks up close in Del Mar.
"They were pretty close to shore and easy to spot in the shallow water,” said Wasson, a resident of Boulder, CO who attended Santa Fe Christian School in Solana Beach.
Wasson says less than 200 feet out, he could see five sharks with his drone.
"I would follow one shark and then I'd end up seeing another shark in the frame, and then I'd follow that one, and then see another shark.”
Capturing crystal clear images, Wasson, 21, a University of Texas junior, had an up-close shark encounter on Monday.
"I was paddleboarding, and I came across a Great White swimming near my board.”
Every day this week, Wasson says he saw the juvenile sharks from 9 to 11 a.m. while flying his drone between 10th and 15th streets in Del Mar. He says the sharks were about 8 to 10 feet long.
"They're robust, so they have thick main portions of their body despite still being kind of sleek in design,” said Dr. Dovi Kacev, UC San Diego Assistant teaching professor in Marine biology.
Kasev says the school of sharks could congregate in the same area for weeks or for multiple seasons.
"The fact that we're seeing them in our waters is a good sign of healthy ecosystems, these are areas that are likely a good habitat and these juveniles are utilizing that because it allows them to find their prey and affords them some protection from larger predators,” Kasev said.
But Kasev advises beachgoers to not worry about getting into the water.
"It's feeding primarily on fishes on the bottom, it's not going to be targeting people, despite the fact that you’re not on its primary menu, it doesn’t mean that it can’t try to protect itself if you get too close,” Kasev said.
Wasson has seen shark researchers from Long Beach in the area who have been tagging the sharks for further study.
Wasson says he recently started drone marine photography and was supposed to take part in a University of Miami’ shark tagging program, but the program was canceled due to COVID-19. For the remainder of his visit, he plans to continue going out to seek vivid pictures of sharks as he is studying Marine Sustainability and Education in school.