For two years, a researcher at Cal State Long Beach’s Shark Lab has used a drone to survey beaches from Santa Barbara to Del Mar. Marine biologist Patrick Rex focused in on finding sharks and people and where they might overlap.

His study took place between 2019 and 2021 in areas where there’s a crowd of sharks or “aggregate.” 

“Humans and sharks actually are using the exact same point along the beach, 97% of the time, and that’s when I surveyed,” he said.

Rex conducted more than 1,600 surveys and recorded over 1,000 hours of footage.

He hopes his study can illuminate how often sharks and people might be around each other in certain areas, and how little that turns into a negative interaction.