Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The End of Shark Diving - Farallones?

The commercial and political winds of change are blowing again.

The Farallones Islands are one of the west coasts hot spots for simply titanic sized great white sharks. After years of legal wrangling the anti shark diving folks at the Farallones have succeeded in a series of new regulations guaranteed to all but kill this shark diving site - according to local news sources:

As part of the changes, great white sharks are now protected from people who want to get a closer look at them. There is now a prohibition against getting closer than 50 meters - or 164 feet - of a white shark within 2 nautical miles of the Farallon Islands. The rule also bans the practice of using decoys or chum to lure sharks.

"We have had cases where people in vessels come charging up to the sharks, scaring them away from food they have just caught," said Mary Jane Schramm, spokeswoman for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. "These activities threaten the health of the species."

"They have been working on the regulations for some time and put a lot of effort into it," said Terri Watson of San Rafael, executive director for the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association. "I'm confident they heard all the issues from all sides."

Sanctuary officials will work with the U.S. Coast Guard as well as researchers to help enforce the new rules. Violations are subject to citations and fines.

"There are many things affecting the sanctuaries: tourism, proposals for wave energy, invasive species, oil spills, they need to be better protected," Schramm said.

Regulations here.


DaShark said...


We did blog about this a while ago, after having checked the sources: http://fijisharkdiving.blogspot.com/2008/11/new-chumming-ban-revisited.html

The way I read them, the regulations permit swimming, surfing and FISHING - but not watching.

Just great!

Shark Diver said...

We knew they had a plan in the works to be 140 feet from a fresh kill, so divers could not even see the event from a cage anymore.

This might be a misread and we have emails into the Farallones head office for clarification.

This has also been a long time coming we will update as it comes in. *If* it is true that all shark watching must happen from 140 feet that pretty much seals the deal out there.

Sarah and Stephan said...

140 feet! How the hell can anyone see ANYTHING at 140 feet!

Say good by to another shark site in the USA. First Florida and now California!

Anonymous said...

It is about time that someone started protecting these amazing endangered fish. The only question I have is, why did it take so long? 140 feet is plenty close enough to view an attack. The white is an amazing creature and if we are not careful the only place people will be able to view them is in a book. Thumbs up to the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association

Shark Diver said...

140 feet is a bit much. As we do not have a dog in this fight all we can do is point out 140.

Try going to your car, and pacing out 140 tomorrow, now turn around.