Push to list great white sharks as endangered

August 13, 2012

Environmentalists have petitioned the state and federal governments to have great white sharks off the coast of California declared endangered. [LATimes]

According to recent studies, about 220 adult and near-adult great white sharks inhabit the waters of California’s central coast region. Researchers estimate there are less than 340 mature sharks in the northeast Pacific.

Currently, regulatory agencies regard the great white shark as a vulnerable species, one step below endangered.

If the petition is granted, the endangered designation could lead to changes in fishing practices and could spur research aimed at restoring the population, said Jim Milbury, a spokesman for the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agency to the LA Times.

Great whites can grow up to 20 feet in length and 6,600 pounds.



  1. Paul Crooks says:

    DNA (mtDNA) analyses indicate South African and, Australian and New Zealand white sharks form genetically distinct populations, and only recently, (2009), North East Pacific white sharks were found to form a demographically isolated population with clearly defined spatial demarcation.

    The geographical isolation revealed from electronic tagging coupled with significant genetic (mtDNA) divergence evident from monophyletic clade structure indicates that North East Pacific sharks, particularly females, are isolated from previously studied populations in the South Indo-Pacific, specifically Australian New Zealand and South African.

    Australian white sharks were recently found to be two genetically distinct populations; genetic effective population size was low and close to thresholds at which adaptive potential may be lost – at least 1 order of magnitude below historical effective size estimates.

    Population decline could expose these genetically isolated populations to detrimental genetic effects. Regional and international white shark conservation management units should be implemented until genetic population structure, size and diversity can be investigated in more detail.

    It would be a sad-sad day to see this magnificent, yet misunderstood top-predator be lost to human ignorance and arrogance – senselessness

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. The Gimlet Eye says:

    How does anybody know exactly how many Great Whites are out there?

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. mustangglp says:

    Read the fish and game code there already. Protected have been for years.
    we need more to eat the sea lions and elephant SEALS!

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  4. Ted Slanders says:

    To the most ignorant of God’s creation, we have the “wallygeez” type that we have to contend with, as shown below with their inept statement against the protection of the Great White. Whether it’s California, or any other coastal state that wants to protect a Great White, it’s a godly thing to do!

    When one swims in the ocean, guess what? They are in the sharks environment and subject to their laws of survival. Now, if the Great White sprouts legs, and starts to walk upon our inhabited beaches of the Central Coast in a “land shark” vein, then they are in our environment and we shoot em!

    Besides, look at the drawback. I love “Great White” beer, and without any of this specie left because of the IQ levels of a wallygeez, it just wouldn’t be the same in drinking this beer anymore!

    (-12) 14 Total Votes - 1 up - 13 down
    • CommonSenseMama says:

      Anyone who dives in the ocean knows they are assuming that risk. In fact, this year is being dubbed by many divers as the “year of the shark” because of the numerous sightings so far.

      It is already illegal to hunt them, and we are already helping them by providing an elephant seal buffet. If the top of the food chain is dwindling in numbers, which I am not inclined to believe, then let nature run it’s course. Interfering with nature in the name of protecting it… the best solution?

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  5. Vagabond says:

    Ah yes, another Western Snowy Plover move. Designate an animal as endangered not by the number of individuals on the planet, but by the number of individuals in a specific location. Hellooo! There are lots of white sharks off the shores of Australia just like there are thousands of Snowy Plovers nesting in the Sierra foothills (Audubon). Just leave the sharks alone to eat the Elephant Seals that are multiplying like crazy all up and down the west coast.

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
    • Vagabond says:

      Which of course begs the question. At what point will Elephant Seals be no longer “Endangered” or “Protected” And available to the public like deer? Muktuk anyone?

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • sloslo says:

      I think you answered your own question. It doesn’t matter how many great white sharks there are off the coast of Australia – we need them here to control the seal population – thus the need to list them as endangered. If you think the shark conservation efforts will be expensive, can you imagine the cost of successfully importing great white sharks from Australia?

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  6. Jorge Estrada says:

    If California would outlaw wetsuits ( nude swim only ) then the shark attacks would diminish and likely stop. Sharks that eat people would get sick and die from all of the toxins leaving only people safe sharks. Dressing up like a seal ( shark food ) has always been the problem and nude swim only would add to the Great White population.

    (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down
    • CommonSenseMama says:

      “Dressing up like a seal” is the reason for dwindling GWs? ?

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  7. Booty JuJu says:

    “spur research aimed at restoring the population”, i.e., a government jobs program.

    (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
  8. wallygeez says:

    Leave it to California to want to protect a monster from the past that is responsible for killing and maiming more humans…I say take advantage of the fact that there are only 340 of them left and make them EXTINCT now!!! (in case you haven’t noticed, there are thousands of dinosaurs that have gone extinct and the earth is doing just fine without them)

    (-8) 32 Total Votes - 12 up - 20 down
    • sloslo says:

      Domesticated dogs are responsible for killing and maiming far more humans than sharks have killed and maimed. Do you think we should slaughter them as well?

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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