Op-Ed: How juvenile white sharks in search of warmer waters disrupt life off the California coast
“I was a big fan of the film ‘Jaws,’” says Kaitlyn Lusk, who wrote the book “The Jaws Chronicles.” Kaitlyn Lusk grew up in rural Georgia in the 1980s, but also had family in the Los Angeles area. She says that her friends told her that the ocean was the only place for a child to explore on her own.
“They are the ones who opened the world to my kid,” she says. “For me, being a single mother, when people said that they had kids that traveled to the ocean to find it and experience it and go deep, it was an amazing experience. They were so right.”
But as Lusk tells it, it was a surprise that she and her daughter spent $2,000 on a shark trip to the Indian Ocean in 2006.
She says that she was surprised she’d been able to afford such a trip. But it was on the trip that Kaitlyn learned about the life of the sharks, its behavior and how the ocean affects them.
After returning from the trip, Lusk got her daughter involved in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Shark Research Program.
“When you are a single mom raising a daughter, you are only there to be there,” Lusk says. “So she was kind of a trooper… and she’s been pretty independent in her life. She’s learned to survive by taking initiative and making her own way.”
She says her daughter has become fearless, and knows she can swim and dive with sharks. Lusk calls her a “superhero of the ocean.”
But there’s another side to Kaitlyn’s story. Before