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San Clemente resident Jim Serpa shares his knowledge of sharks by giving popular campfire talks throughout the Southern California area. Photo: Steve Breazeale

Dana Point Times

The frequency of shark sightings has ramped up over the past several months, prompting several beach closures, dozens of advisories, and a growing fascination surrounding the creatures and their behavior.

With all the buzz around sharks in the tri-city area, former park ranger and San Clemente resident Jim Serpa’s popular shark lecture, “Sharks: Myths Behind the Monster” could not come at a better time.

Serpa, who gives campfire-style lectures year-round, will be conducting his shark-centric lecture at the Dana Point Community Center as part of the center’s Science Night on July 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Serpa will show those in attendance the various shark species found in the area and discuss this summer’s recent uptick of great white sightings.

In an interview with the Dana Point Times last year, Serpa explained the goal of the lecture is to educate people on the true nature of sharks. As a former ranger at Torrey Pines State Beach and Doheny State Beach, Serpa has been observing the animals for 24 years.

Serpa fills his lecture with stories of encounters, anecdotes and fossil displays to help paint the picture of the animals that call our oceans home.

While he acknowledges the dangers of swimming in the surf zone when sharks have been spotted, one of his main goals is to dispel the beliefs that all sharks mean harm to beachgoers.

“If sharks really wanted us, they could have us. There are a lot of people in the water, a lot of sharks in the water and it’s extremely rare to be attacked,” Serpa told the Dana Point Times last August. “They’re not just sitting out there with their bibs on, waiting to get you.”

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