White sharks have been protected in California since 1994 and under U.S. federal law since 2004. It is illegal to target or kill a white sharks, and they must be released immediately if caught. As white shark populations are rising, there is an increased probability of human-shark interactions. Therefore, it is important to discuss the possible public safety risks associated with targeting or incidental catch of white sharks and other large wildlife along piers.
Our goal is to provide ways for fisherman to properly identify shark species, how they can avoid catching white sharks, and if they do catch them, how to safely release them. To accomplish these goals, the Shark Lab is working to develop a training workshop and materials for recreational fishermen.
Along with the training workshops and materials, the Shark Lab plans to implement signage for California piers displaying the laws regarding white sharks and species identification to further prevent these interactions and keep the fisherman and the sharks safe.