Menu

Great whites plentiful off US west coast

Great white sharks are likely rising in numbers off the coast of California and are not at risk of extinction despite some reports to the contrary, US researchers say.

The findings are good news for the ocean predator, suggesting that around 2000 of them are swimming about in the Eastern North Pacific, not 219 as research released three years ago had indicated.

‘If something is wrong with the largest, most powerful group in the sea, then something is wrong with the sea, so it’s a relief to find they’re in good shape,’ said George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research.

‘That we found these sharks are doing OK, better than OK, is a real positive in light of the fact that other shark populations are not necessarily doing as well,’ said Burgess, a co-founder of the Shark Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The study appears in the journal PLOS ONE.

The earlier count was based on research at two sites – the Farallon Islands west of San Francisco, and nearby Tomales Point – where seals congregate and so do the sharks that eat them.

By accounting for all life stages of sharks there, researchers found that their numbers were more likely around 2000, not 200.

Since sharks are difficult to count, and populations were so fluid at those two sites, researchers also widened their research scope to include other known gathering spots from Mexico into British Columbia and Alaska.

The US National Marine Fisheries Service has declined petitions to add white sharks to the endangered species list, estimating the Eastern North Pacific population at about 3000 sharks.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.