Petition for great white protection


Three California environmental groups, Oceana, the Center for Biological Diversity and Shark Stewards, petitioned the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Monday, seeking to list the West Coast population of great white sharks under the Endangered Species Act. According to the petition, the northeastern Pacific Ocean population of great whites is both genetically distinct and in danger of extinction, with around 340 individuals that have reached or are near maturity. A further study by University of California, Davis using photo indentification of shark fins determined that only 219 adult and juvenile white sharks regularly swim off the central California coast. Research shows that an additional 130 white sharks reside off Baja. The designation could lead to changes in fishing practices and could spur research aimed at restoring the population.