The Difficulties in Endangered Species Protections for the Great White SharkPublished online on 29. August 2014
Circling the Blood in the Water: The Difficulties in Endangered Species Protections for the Great White Shark
The purpose of legislation like the Endangered Species Act is to provide a means to conserve the ecosystems of endangered and threatened species, but not all species that may appear to need conservation are granted protection. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year largely due to exploitation, yet few shark species are ever granted protection under state or federal endangered species acts. The Northeastern Pacific population of the Great White Shark is no exception. Despite the numerous threats facing the white shark, NOAA denied a petition to list it as an endangered or threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. In light of the pending California decision to list the white shark under its state endangered species act, this paper considers whether or not such extreme protections are necessary. This paper first discusses the threats facing the white shark, the listing processes of both the federal and the California endangered species acts, and NOAA’s 12-month negative finding. Finally, this paper concludes that endangered species protections are not warranted in the case of the Northeastern Pacific white shark because of prior government intervention and conservation efforts already in place.
Natural Resources, 5, 666-680. DOI: 10.4236/nr.2014.511058