Are California great whites endangered?

The California Fish and Game Commission will consider a petition to give threatened or endangered species status to the West Coast great white shark population at its meeting early next month.

The commission meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6, and Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento.

At that time, the commission may take action on whether or not to accept the petition and declare the Northeast Pacific population of great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, as a candidate for future threatened or endangered species status under the California Endangered Species Act.

If the petition is accepted, the commission will start a one-year status review before a decision on listing is made, state officials reported.

In preparation for the meeting, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a staff evaluation of the listing petition, which is available at http://dfg.ca.gov/news/pubnotice/ or can be seen below.

In completing the petition evaluation, CDFW determined there is sufficient scientific information to indicate that the petition action may be warranted, and recommended the petition be accepted and considered by the California Fish and Game Commission.

Last August, Oceana, the Center for Biological Diversity and SharkStewards filed a scientific petition with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Washington, D.C., seeking to protect the West Coast population of great white sharks under the Endangered Species Act, filing shortly thereafter to seek protection for the apex predator under California’s Endangered Species Act.

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