The L.A. Times is reporting that some environmental groups are seeking federal protection for great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). The groups have petitioned for the government to list California’s white shark population as an endangered species. The petition, filed last Friday, was prepared by Oceana in conjunction with Sea Stewards, and the Center for Biological Diversity.
The biggest concern of those behind the petition is the threat of juvenile white shark being killed as a result of by-catch in gill nets off the coast of Southern California and Mexico, according to Oceana’s Geoff Shester. It’s unclear from the report how U.S. federal protection status would help to reduce by-catch of the species. White sharks are already a protected species in California and Mexico and cannot legally be targeted for harvest in either locales.
For more information, you can check out the full-article at the L.A. Times.
If you’re interested in signing the petition, Oceana has made the petition for federal protection of great white sharks available online.