Shark Bites – news & sightings
For sharks who want to escape the perils and stresses of everyday life, swim on over to French Polynesia and the Cook Islands. These locales have created ocean sanctuaries for sharks, which are now off-limits to shark fishing.
According to a Washington Post article, these adjacent shark sanctuaries span 2.5 million square miles of ocean. The sanctuaries are part of a growing movement to protect sharks worldwide from fishing and from barbaric practices like cutting off a shark’s fins while discarding the body at sea (for shark fin soup).
In California waters, great white sharks are illegal to take and have been protected since 1994. On March 1 of this year, white sharks off California’s coast received additional protection when the species became a candidate under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). CESA prohibits the take of listed or candidate species. As defined in state law, take means “hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill.” The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will conduct an in-depth status review to provide the California Fish and Game Commission with information to aid in its decision on whether or not to list the species. The status review is slated for completion by early next year.
For more info on great white sharks, visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/whiteshark.asp.