Sevengill shark seen in La Jolla Cove


San Diego diver Jim Ridgway, who along with dive partner John Huber took video footage of a 5- to 6-foot male sevengill shark Sunday at La Jolla Cove, surmised that it could be a good news.

“Whenever you see an apex predator coming back, it’s generally a good sign that the ecosystem is starting to recover,” said Ridgway, who dives weekly in La Jolla adding the area’s kelp forest is much depleted from years past.

Ridgway said Sunday’s encounter with the sevengill was brief.

“This one wasn’t interested in hanging around with divers chasing it with a camera,” he said.

“It sort of looked at us for 20 seconds and then took off.”

Ridgway said a sevengill sighting “is far less about fear and far more about joy” for a diver.

It also wasn’t the first — or most impressive — specimen he’s seen.

“Last summer I encountered two of them but I wasn’t able to get any (video) footage,” he said. “One of the ones I saw was 7 to 8 feet. They can get up to 10 feet and more.”

Broadnose sevengill sharks are silvery gray to brownish black and speckled with lots of dark and white spots, according to the website www.library. Their young are born live and they have only one dorsal fin and seven pairs of gills. Their upper jaws are jagged at the tips and they eat other sharks, rays, bony fish, seals and dead animals.

Michael Bear, another San Diego dive enthusiast, monitors sevengill sightings like Ridgway’s at


Bear noted such sightings are becoming more frequent, though he added experts are uncertain what that means.

“The number of encounters between divers and sevengills has risen dramatically in the last two years,” he said.

“But experts aren’t sure that’s because more divers are going in the water — or more sharks are in the area.”


To see Ridgway’s video, go to