New Bill To Protect Great White Sharks Off The Coast Of California Signed Into Law; Bill Goes Into Effect On January 1, 2023

While great white sharks are already a protected species and an important part of the ocean ecosystem in California, Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed Assembly Bill 2109 into law, providing them with new protections in state waters. The new rules regarding white sharks goes into effect on January 1, 2023.

As per the Sharkwater Foundation, which gave a “shout out to California” on its Facebook page, sharks are being fished at the staggering rate of up to 150 to 250 million sharks per year, though the number is most-likely much higher due to Illegal fishing. 

Sponsored by Assemblymember Steve Bennett, the bill passed the California legislature with an overwhelming majority of support. The new restrictions aim to get ahead of activities that may result in increased interactions between white sharks and humans, and to give law enforcement more tools to protect white sharks from intentional efforts to catch or attract them.

The new shark law also helps to protect the public from interactions with white sharks that have been unintentionally hooked by fishermen. New rules restrict when and where chum and shark bait can be used.

“Sharks are one of California’s most iconic marine species, and it is our responsibility to ensure that their populations are sustained,” Assemblymember Bennett said in a statement. “At the same time, public safety is of the utmost importance.”

The new rules prohibit the use of shark bait, shark lures or shark chum to attract a white shark. Anglers also may not place those items into the water within one nautical mile of any shoreline, pier or jetty, when a white shark is visible or known to be present.

“We have seen increased use of California beaches as nursery habitat for juvenile white sharks,” stated Dr. Chris Lowe, a professor in marine biology and director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach. “This bill will help reduce fishery interactions with white sharks, helping the protected sharks and ocean users by reducing the risk of hooking these sharks at public beaches and ocean piers where people are swimming, surfing, and diving.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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