Great White Shark
The Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, is classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The Great White Shark can be found almost anywhere in the world, throughout most seas and oceans with concentrations in temperate coastal seas and sometimes warm waters (but occasionally in cold environments).
The Great White Shark has long been a focus for negative media attention, generated by its sometimes lethal interactions with humans. As a consequence, this species is unquestionably vulnerable to directed exploitation such as sports-fishing, commercial trophy-hunting, the curio trade, the oriental shark-fin trade and even the public aquarium trade. Sharks caught either accidentally as bycatch, or deliberately targeted, are sold for their flesh, skins and oil. Unfortunately, its inquisitive nature and tendency to investigate human activities, as well as to scavenge from fishing gear, makes this shark vulnerable to either their own accidental entrapment, or deliberate killing by commercial fishermen.
The Great White Shark is currently protected in the Australian EEZ and state waters, South Africa, Namibia, Israel, Malta and the USA. It should be removed from international game fish record lists, and it needs rational and realistic treatment by the media to counter its notoriety and inflated market value. The recent surge of interest in shark dives and ecotourism, may provide a substantial local income and an important method of education. Further information gained from ongoing studies of this shark will hopefully provide the basis for designing appropriate protection measures to aid its survival.