Get to know your neighbor: Leopard Shark, Triakis semifasciata

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Photo by Octavio Aburto

Week #5: Leopard Shark, Triakis semifasciata

I lurk in shallow nearshore marine waters in search of my next meal. I scan the seafloor using senses attuned to find prey that hides amongst the benthos*. When I zero in on my victim I surge forward and use my specially shaped sub-terminal* mouth to pluck it from its hiding place. I have been witnessed moving so quickly that I can snatch the siphon of a clam from the sand surface before it has the chance to retreat to its shell. I Although I can look and sound menacing, I am one of the more docile sharks in existence. At a general length of 4-5 feet I can send a chill down the spine of recreational beach goers if seen cruising underfoot but should be considered harmless.

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California Approves Community Based Partnership Plan to Guide MPAs

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GREAT NEWS!  After a lengthy public and agency review process, the Ocean Protection Council released a partnership-based guide to long term management of California’s statewide network of marine Protected Areas (MPAs).  The California Collaborative Approach: Marine Protected Areas Partnership Plan outlines how the inclusive process that aided the creation of MPAs will contribute to managing them.  Focused on a shared vision of linking agencies and organizations across geographic scales, the Partnership Plan aims to tap into the existing energy, expertise and resources at the local scale through a network of local County Collaboratives.  Comprised of ocean stakeholders that are forming across coastal California, they will receive local input and undertake activities that foster ocean education and awareness, encourage sustainable recreational use, and promote ease of compliance with MPA protections.