Groups Seek Endangered Species Status for White Sharks
Environmental groups are asking the state and federal government to protect great white sharks under the Endangered Species Act. They say new research shows the population of these slow-growing predators is smaller than previously thought.
Thanks to movies like "Jaws", it's not always easy to make the case for protecting white sharks, says Geoff Shester of the non-profit group Oceana. "These sharks are a very vulnerable species and it’s, I think, difficult for people to think of them that way," he says.
In their petition, the groups say recent studies indicate the sharks off California are an isolated population with possibly only hundreds left. White sharks play a key role in the ecosystem.
"It’s the same thing as wolves and mountain lions. Those are what ultimately what keep ecosystems healthy and we’ve seen the drastic results of losing those top predators in other systems," says Shester. .
Shester says if they’re listed, state and federal agencies would develop a recovery plan that could potentially protect white shark habitat.