Shark sightings bad for some OC businesses

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KABC) -- Shark advisory signs are up in San Clemente warning beachgoers to swim at their own risk. On Monday, a fisherman hooked a great white off a popular pier and the day before, 25 sharks were spotted just off the coast.

That has some people who frequent beachside businesses on edge.

"If there's one shark sighted helicopters and drones and people are posting footage on social media," said Jay Reale of local business "All of that comes into play to build that hysteria and that hype and I think that is what puts people on edge."

Reale said the shark sightings from Long Beach to San Onofre are affecting his bottom line and many others whose livelihoods rely on the ocean. According to Reale, his sales of body-boarding equipment locally have dipped significantly of late.

Reale also runs a surf camp for kids in the summer, but said parents are more reluctant to send their children due to the recent spate of shark sightings. "They may turn into beach camps this summer instead of surf camps," Reale said.

Huntington beach surf instructors said they haven't noticed much of a lag in business, but some plan to use a new shark-deterrent device that students can strap on their arms anyway.
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