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.