ESA Process: Calif. Aquarium will not collect White sharks for exhibit in 2013

monterey-bay-logoPress Release

Monterey Bay Aquarium

06. February 2013



Aquarium’s Statement on Process to Consider Giving California’s Great White Sharks Endangered Species Protection

Statement from Dr. Chris Harrold, Director of Research Programs, Monterey Bay Aquarium:

The Aquarium is very supportive of today’s decision by the California Fish and Game Commission to evaluate whether the Northeastern Pacific population of great white sharks requires additional protection under the California Endangered Species Act.

We are encouraged by the growing public awareness and concern for the fate of all sharks. We see the current process as another positive sign that attitudes toward sharks are shifting to recognize their vital contributions to the health of ocean ecosystems.

The Aquarium – along with a broad consortium of scientists from Stanford, UC Davis, CSU Long Beach and other institutions – has played a key role in funding and generating scientific data used to evaluate the status of the Northeastern Pacific white shark population. This ongoing research, which has benefitted in part from the collaborative participation of the commercial fishing community in southern California, is vital for monitoring white sharks, and has led to the current understanding of white shark migration patterns, population size, nursery habitat, contaminant levels and recruitment.

We and our colleagues will continue to provide any data we have and to assist in any way we can so that the final decision is based on the best-available science. We are also supporting the effort underway by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate a similar petition to list the Northeastern Pacific white shark population under the federal Endangered Species Act.

While the state review process takes place in 2013, the Aquarium has decided not to collect white sharks for exhibit. It is our hope that, if appropriate, any decision regarding listing of California’s white sharks will include policies under which white sharks could be collected for exhibit in the future. We have since 2004 introduced more than 3 million people to a half-dozen young great white sharks that we exhibited in Monterey for periods up to six and a half months, and documented in audience research studies that seeing the young sharks at the Aquarium has changed attitudes and left many visitors inspired to help protect white sharks in the wild

It is also our hope that that the ultimate decision on California’s white sharks will incorporate policies to permit continued research on white sharks in California waters, as this research directly contributes to our overall knowledge of the health of the white shark population here and in Baja California.

Our exhibit and research programs are at the core of what we do at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In keeping with our mission to inspire conservation of the oceans by bringing visitors face-to-face with living ocean animals, more than 50 million visitors have seen sharks and other marine life in our exhibits since we opened in 1984. We have, from our earliest days, been committed to scientific research as a key component in the preservation of healthy oceans and protection of ocean wildlife. We have undertaken long-term research programs involving species including sea otters, bluefin tuna, seven-gill sharks and great white sharks. As an advocate for ocean conservation policy initiatives, we were lead sponsor of legislation to outlaw the shark fin trade in California, and we support the Marine Life Protection Act, through which California established the nation’s first comprehensive network of marine protected areas along our coast.

The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans. To learn more visit

Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Note by Shark Year Magazine :

Please see also our related posts :

08. January 2013 CDFW: Evaluation of Petition to List White Shark as Endangered Species

01. September 2011 Monterey aquarium gets great white shark

25. October 2011 Monterey Bay Aquarium to release Great White Shark




  1. Mark

    The best form of conservation is education. So I seems reasonable to me that they should continue to bring in white sharks for exhibit. It appears to be handled in a responsible manner with the sharks interests put first.   I hope that in 2014 Monterey Bay Aquarium will bring back a GWS.   We have one of the best zoos in the US here in Wichita KS. Any number of the animals on display could kill a human but seeing the animal with your own eyes really establishes an amazing respect. 

  2. Angel

    Dr. Harrold,
    you did a great job with the aquarium. This is one of the best if not the single best, education center for young children about the ocean and sharks. I visited your facilities many times and each time I personally witnessed visitors with excited looks and interest to sharks. You do a great job educating general public for conservation.
    With or without the GWS, your efforts deserve every kind of appreciation.
    Please keep up the good work…

  3. I don’t leave a great deal of remarks, however i did a few searching and wound up here ESA Process: Calif.

    Aquarium will not collect White sharks for exhibit in 2013 | Shark
    Year Magazine. And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you do not mind.
    Could it be only me or does it look like a few of the remarks look like they are written by brain
    dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional sites, I’d like to follow anything new you have to
    post. Would you list of all of your shared sites
    like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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