Great white sharks in California now protected by Endangered Species Act

By on Mar 2, 2013 in Animals, Science, United States Comments

Great white sharks in California are now being protected by the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), an enhanced move by the state to protect the dangerous killing creature. The California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) has already added the great white shark in the list of candidates endangered species.

Great white shark

Great white shark
Image Credit: Brian J. Skerry

According to a report at California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) last Thursday, February 28; CESA is now prohibiting the “take” of white sharks in California starting Friday, March 1, 2013. The “take” here means “to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill.”

The CESA states that “all native species of amphibians, birds, fishes, reptiles, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation, will be protected, or preserved.”

“While targeted sport and commercial fishing for white shark has been banned in waters off California since the mid-1990s, there were some exceptions that allowed for incidental take and take associated with research activities.” CDFW program manager Marci Yaremko was quoted at DFG.ca.gov.

“The Department now will consider exceptions only on a case-by-case basis, and will authorize take only under permits issued pursuant to CESA.” Yaremko added, with CDFW to conduct a one-year in-depth study to assist the FGC in deciding whether the white shark will be listed as endangered species or not.

The decision to provide further protection to the so-called “one of the primary predators of marine mammals” in California after an earlier 4-0 vote in Sacramento by the FGC, which was supported by various marine biologists, fishermen and representatives of ocean advocacy groups.

The great white shark, which the largest individuals known to be measuring more than 6 meters (20 ft) long, and weighed 2,268 kg (5,000 lb), was inspired by 1975 Steven Spielberg blockbuster film “Jaws.”



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