Target: California Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: To place great white sharks under the protection of the California Endangered Species Act.
As the largest predatory fish in the ocean, great white sharks have earned themselves something of an infamous reputation. This reputation is based largely on their fearsome appearance and celluloid notoriety. This reputation is unfortunate when compared to the reality that these animals have far more to fear of man than man does of them. In over 20 years there have only been 139 recorded unprovoked attacks, just 29 of which have been fatal. Within California itself there have been fewer than 100 total attacks in the last sixty years.
By contrast, many more sharks than the aforementioned numbers are killed every year by humans. It is estimated that 30 to 70 million sharks of all species are killed annually. Great whites are technically protected within California waters by Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, Fish and Game Code Section 28.06, which makes it illegal to fish for and take a great white. This alone is insufficient. These marine treasures need the full blanket of protection afforded under the California Endangered Species Act. This declaration would not only increase protected measures afforded by the state, but also set a tremendous precedent that could lead to an increase in national and even worldwide protection.
This worldwide precedent would help bring attention to the sharks’ plight in regions where they are still considered a popular trophy fish. Beyond this they are also victimized, as are many species of shark, for their fins. These fins are a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine and are often the only piece of the animal utilized. The remains are unceremoniously dumped back into the ocean, often while the animal is still alive.
It is for these reasons that the great white shark must be afforded better protection under the California Endangered Species Act. These crucial members of the ocean ‘s ecosystem must be preserved before they are lost forever.
Dear Governor Brown,
While great white sharks were the recipients of an admirable first step towards their protection and preservation in 1994 with Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, Fish and Game Code Section 28.06, this alone is not enough. Making it illegal to fish for and take a great white shark is a start but these oceanic giants need to be granted the full protection afforded by the California Endangered Species Act. This would serve not only to grant them an increased measure of protection, but also allow California to lend its voice to the growing global support for the great white protection.
These animals receive inadequate support due to being unfairly vilified. Their fearsome appearance in cinematic history has painted an inaccurate picture in most people’s minds. The truth is that mankind poses a far greater threat to these sharks than they do to people. In over 20 years there have only been 139 recorded unprovoked attacks, 29 of which have been fatal. Within California itself there have been fewer than 100 attacks in the last 60 years. This is a far cry from what humans are doing to sharks, as an estimated 30 to 70 million sharks are killed every single year.
The only way to give great whites the long-lasting protection they need is to declare them an endangered species. As an apex predator, if too many of these animals are killed, it could irreparably harm the entire marine ecosystem. For this reason I strongly urge you to protect great white sharks under the California Endangered Species Act.
[Your Name Here]