by Michael Bear
Michael Bear is Science Diving Editor for California Diver Magazine and currently contributor to Marine Science Today with over a 1000 cold-water dives, an AAUS (American Academy of Underwater Sciences) Scientific Diver and founder of Sevengill Shark Sightings.org. He lives and work in San Diego.
I am not a professional shark researcher–just an experienced San Diego diver who has been diving in the San Diego area since 2000. In October of 2008, I began hearing reports of encounters between local San Diego divers and Sevengill sharks, (Notorynchus cepedianus). At the time, I thought this a bit unusual, since this was the first I had heard of these encounters in nearly a decade of regular diving in the San Diego area and monitoring local Internet dive boards. Between 2000 and 2006, almost no encounters were reported. But in 2008, that all changed and they began appearing on the dive boards and lists, one here, two there, five there, slowing increasing until it was obvious that something was happening–exactly what was not clear–only that more and more encounters were being reported by divers.