California commission grants great white shark new protections
In this undated photo provided by the University of California, Davis, a white shark investigates a fake seal decoy used by UC Davis researchers in the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco. (AP / University of California, Davis, file)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2013 10:10PM EST
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The most feared predator in the ocean received new protections today when a California commission decided the great white shark should be studied as a potential endangered species.
The Fish and Game Commission unanimously voted to advance the candidacy of the shark, which means during a one-year study review it will receive the same protections it would if it were listed as endangered.
Great white sharks are internationally protected and already can't be targeted for catch. During the review, the sharks will receive even more safeguards, and the immediate effect will be a ban on incidental takes by net fishermen, who opposed the review.
Scientists estimate the number of California subspecies at between 220 and 350.