UPDATE: The California Fish and Game Commission voted to move forward with the process of adding great white sharks to California's endangered species list. The sharks are effectively considered endangered while the Commission continues their study. Commercial fishermen say listing the sharks will make fishing more difficult.
by Tracie Cone, Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — They are the most feared predator in the ocean, but the state of California thinks great white sharks might need a little protection of their own.
The Fish and Game Commission will consider Wednesday advancing the candidacy of the giant sharks to the California Endangered Species list, which will immediately enact protections during a yearlong review. The commission staff has recommended the shark be listed for candidacy.
Scientists have not been able to get an accurate count of great white sharks worldwide, but the petition from the conservation organization Oceana and two other groups was aimed at a subspecies that lives along the California coast. A study two years ago by UC-Davis, Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station and others estimated the population at around 220, though little else is known about their breeding and migration habits.