California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks title=
White shark (Photo by Liz Hellmers/CDFW)
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By the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)

On Monday, Sept. 19, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 2109, providing new protections for white sharks in California waters. White sharks, also called great white sharks, are already a protected species and an important part of the ocean ecosystem as top-level predators. There is enormous public and scientific interest in them.

Sponsored by Assemblymember Steve Bennett, the bill passed the California legislature with an overwhelming majority of support. The new restrictions aim to get ahead of activities that may lead to increased interactions between white sharks and humans, and to give law enforcement more tools to protect white sharks from intentional efforts to catch or attract them. The new law also helps protect the public from interactions with white sharks that have been unintentionally hooked by fishermen by restricting when and where chum and shark bait can be used, while still allowing other legal fishing activities to continue.

“Sharks are one of California’s most iconic marine species, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that their populations are sustained,” Assemblymember Bennett said. “At the same time, public safety is of the utmost importance.”

“This bill represents a collaborative engagement between anglers, the scientific community, the legislature and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to develop proactive, common-sense approaches to further protect California’s iconic white sharks, while also protecting ocean users and preserving recreational fishing opportunities,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham.

Anglers should note the new rules regarding take of white sharks go into effect on January 1, 2023. These rules, found in California Fish and Game Code, section 5517, prohibit the use of shark bait, shark lures or shark chum to attract a white shark. Anglers also may not place those items into the water within one nautical mile of any shoreline, pier or jetty, when a white shark is visible or known to be present.

CDFW continues to work with partners to proactively address the potential for fishing activities to lead to white shark interactions. The Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA CAL) is also very supportive of protecting white sharks.

“We fight for responsible and sustainable fishing practices while also supporting regulations to protect our most vulnerable resources,” said Wayne Kotow, executive director for CCA CAL. “We are all stewards of the resources and need to work together for the future of our favorite sport of fishing.”

“We have seen increased use of California beaches as nursery habitat for juvenile white sharks,” said Dr. Chris Lowe, a professor in marine biology and director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach. “This bill will help reduce fishery interactions with white sharks, helping the protected sharks and ocean users by reducing the risk of hooking these sharks at public beaches and ocean piers where people are swimming, surfing and diving.”

For more information about white sharks, please visit CDFW’s White Shark Information webpage, which includes answers to frequently asked questions, as well as shark incident information going back to 1950. Additional questions may be sent to CDFW’s Marine Region via email.

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Bird Sep 30, 2022 01:40 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

Thanks to Gov. Newsom for signing the bill but ESPECIALLY thanks to our representative Assemblymember Bennett for developing the bill. It is not easy to have that kind of collaboration, especially for a species that so many see as nothing but a hated predator. I hope our next representative, Gregg Hart, will be as sensitive to environmental concerns and issues.

BufordNgoleta Sep 30, 2022 01:45 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

So ridiculous. People don't fish for GW sharks. And if one is hooked its quickly and easily cut loose. Baits and chum are what you use for ALL SHARK fishing. So basically this law inhibits all shark fishing. Thanks Gavin, another brilliant move.

sacjon Sep 30, 2022 01:54 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

BUFORD - Calm down, it does not ban all chumming. Read it more closely. Bait/chum only prohibited if using it to actively attract GWs or when you're within 1 mile of a recent sighting. Basically, you're not allowed to attract them to your boat or pier/jetty for "interaction" (cage diving, fishing, etc). You can still go fish for leopards and threshers of the pier, well unless you know there's a big ol' pointer out there nearby!

BufordNgoleta Sep 30, 2022 02:21 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

You have to be kidding. What does a "recent" sighting mean to you? Last hour, day, last week or two? They constantly move around, and being the biggest preditor, they show up when youre minding your own business fishing for anything. Above all, when already protected, what's the point in adding restrictions to OTHER fishing for the possibility of a GW? Unnecessary and a reason to fine someone doing nothing wrong.

sacjon Sep 30, 2022 02:29 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

BUFORD - it's simple. It's banning people from TRYING TO ATTRACT great white sharks. If you're chumming for threshers/makos, whatever off your boat and a GW shows up, no one is going to come flying out to arrest you. Now, if F&G comes by and you have massive rigs on your deck/shark cage, etc, while chumming, might be a different story.

The purpose, if any of you bothered to read, is to limit interactions. That means, no attracting GWs near humans for the purpose of "interacting." From the DFG website:

“This bill will help reduce fishery interactions with white sharks, helping the protected sharks and ocean users by reducing the risk of hooking these sharks at public beaches and ocean piers where people are swimming, surfing and diving.” https://wildlife.ca.gov/News/california-assembly-bill-2109-signed-into-law-providing-new-protections-for-white-sharks

Relax.

ChillinGrillin Oct 01, 2022 09:35 AM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

Wtf who defends shark fishing? Shark meat tastes terrible and needs to be thoroughly soaked because they urinate through their skin (mmm yummy). As apex predators they also have high levels of mercury and heavy metals, which have only continued to rise as the ocean becomes more polluted. This law doesn't go far enough, there is no legit reason to kill sharks.

biguglystick Oct 03, 2022 09:38 AM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

Sounds like you just don't like Newsome and anything he does you'll criticize. This is a really great thing! NO ONE needs to be shark fishing. The days of the abundant ocean are over. Overfishing is killing everything, and we need this bill. THANK YOU, Governor Newsome, for once AGAIN, doing the right thing for wildlife. How I appreciate a politician who cares for our ecosystem.

sacjon Sep 30, 2022 02:20 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

BASIC - what's your beef? Other than Newsom, obviously. This is doing nothing but prohibiting people from purposefully attracting white sharks. No one's livelihood is being threatened (because there's so many commercial shark fishermen here...) so what are you worried about? I've fished these waters my whole life and never used chum. No one is being prohibited from going after tasty threshers.

GeneralTree Sep 30, 2022 06:02 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

Sail you couldn't educate me in anything. I've fished constantly and often my whole life, long range, fished shark lots when I was younger, inshore, pier, surf, boats, jetties.. My father was a commercial fisherman. But you do you and keep whining in your dinghy.

sacjon Sep 30, 2022 02:22 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

Leave it to the cons once again to drag politics into this. Complaining about any little thing we do to try to help the environment. Why? What kind of coward tries to chum and kill a GW anyway? Boo hoo for the "big game" guys, but who cares if they can't get their kills.

BufordNgoleta Sep 30, 2022 02:42 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

Not politics, its thinking practically. No chumming within a mile of a shoreline, pier or jetty. So if you don't have a boat, how do you expect to fish for shark? Most everyone I know fishes off piers. So this law ends that for any shark fishing. And what's a "shark lure" anyway? Do you think the various fish know what lure is meant for them? Clearly written by people having zero knowledge of fishing. Too many unnecessary laws. Newsom must have writer's cramp by now.

sacjon Sep 30, 2022 02:50 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

No chumming "for the purpose of viewing any shark when a white shark is visible or known to be present." and No chumming "when a white shark is either visible or known to be present." - Cite to the code: https://legiscan.com/CA/text/AB2109/2021

"VISIBLE OR KNOWN TO BE PRESENT"

So, if you see a GW or know that one is near you, you have to stop chumming. So what? How is that so bad? They don't want people trying to attract them.

If you're fishing on a boat or pier and have no idea there's a GW near you, you're not getting fined.

So, again, besides it being a democrat doing this, what's the beef?

BufordNgoleta Sep 30, 2022 03:16 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

So General, when I fish for Thresher shark (good tasting) I use a dead fish on a hook. You know what else will eat a dead fish? A GW if it sees the bait first. So I'm breaking the law putting this into the water - as you READ the article above. You know what happens when a GW eats my bait? The line snaps almost immediately. So again where's the need for this law?

BTW, your personal attack on people is the white flag of surrender. No persuasive thinking I guess?

sacjon Sep 30, 2022 03:24 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

BUFORD - you just want to complain. Not listen. The need for this law is to stop people from PURPOSEFULLY attracting great white sharks. You can still fish for threshers, just as I will be. You're angry ONLY because a democrat signed this, it's pretty clear.

You all complain about laws, saying "who will follow them?" How many rapists follow the anti-rape laws? How about murderers, etc?

Dude, just don't TRY to ATTRACT a GW and you're fine. Stop sweating it so much.

Basicinfo805 Sep 30, 2022 02:50 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

I’ve never seen nor even ever heard of anyone chumming for white sharks around here. The only interactions of that nature are the researchers up near the Farallones dragging fake seals behind their boats and filming the whites blowing them out of the water for TV. There’s an interaction for ya!

sacjon Sep 30, 2022 02:52 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

BASIC - we sometimes chum a little for fish, but not throwing buckets of tuna blood in for the purpose of seeing a GW come to the boat. Not many people do that, which is why I don't understand the pushback on this.

And those flying sharks in the Farallones are freaking bada$$!

BufordNgoleta Sep 30, 2022 03:02 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

I didnt think people with underwater cameras were a big threat the GW sharks.

I guess we all need to accept politicians making unnecessary laws. No problem to fix here, but who cares. Having their name on a bill, and collecting contributions is more important than your freedoms.

chico berkeley Sep 30, 2022 03:54 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

It's not like there is a WS population problem.
You should watch the 6 part documentary about them.
I think there was 6 parts to the story if I recall.
Sharknado has a lot of white sharks, even in space!
Maybe they can put Newsome in the next one if they do it.
Lots of great cameos in the movies.
I think even some local celebs have met their demise in the series.

edney Sep 30, 2022 03:55 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

edscolds from scoldhat descend on the subject even though they clearly are ignorant.
"These rules, found in California Fish and Game Code, section 5517, prohibit the use of shark bait, shark lures or shark chum to attract a white shark. Anglers also may not place those items into the water within one nautical mile of any shoreline, pier or jetty, when a white shark is visible or known to be present."

This law effectively makes ALL shark bait, lure use, thus all shark fishing a citable offense within one mile of shore using some undescribed formula of ( "undefined notification process, + "knowledge of presence" = citation) about where white sharks are. There are almost always white sharks within a mile of shore and if they want to ban all shark fishing in this area, they should have the courage to say so.

This law also puts the fisherman into a situation of proving their own innocence. "I did not get the notification" Too bad. That is on you. "I didn't know there were white sharks present" Too bad. Hard to prove when you have one hooked

Most fishing laws just say for example: you cannot fish for any trout species here because there is a protected trout in these waters. Or: This golden trout is protected. You are not allowed to take any golden trout here, they must be released. All other trout OK
Why not say: no white sharks may be taken within one mile of shore and if caught, must be released.

sacjon Oct 03, 2022 01:42 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

ENDEY - "This law effectively makes ALL shark bait, lure use, thus all shark fishing... blah blah blah" - No, it doesn't. This must be why so many of your fellow cons have trouble with the 2nd Amendment. You don't read laws fully.

Here's WHEN the chumming and baiting TO ATTRACT WHITE SHARKS is illegal: "WHEN A WHITE SHARK IS EITHER VISIBLE OR KNOWN TO BE PRESENT."

Again, WHEN A GW is VISIBLE to your eyes or you KNOW with your brain that one is nearby, you can't try to catch it or attract it.

NostraChumash Sep 30, 2022 05:18 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

It says it, right there on the bottom of the snow-skis;
"Do NOT use to assist during childbirth"..
Because some Pendecker will surely try.
I call it Proactivity.
Cruiseships are bad enough without a "cage dive charter" popping up.
And the sharks will appreciate it.

GeneralTree Sep 30, 2022 06:37 PM
California Assembly Bill 2109 Provides New Protections For White Sharks

These quotes are from 2019. How in the heck do you think you have more experience than those in the CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife? "Mike Stefanak, the CDFW’s marine enforcement district assistant chief, agrees that the language regulating the take of fish and other animals isn’t necessarily clear. “There are always areas of the law that tend to be gray,” he says, adding that “without statements from witnesses, or statements from other participants,” proving that an angler was fishing specifically for great whites is “very difficult.”

"As a businessman, Wonder has benefited from catching so many great whites. He owns a company, Terra Firma Tackle, that sells shark fishing gear, including leaders—hooks connected to long lengths of bite-resistant wire—suitable for landing very large sharks. Wonder says each photo of a great white that he posts to Instagram “is a sale.”

"On August 17, 2017, Wonder posted a comment on one such photo in which he called the catch of a particularly large great white “a milestone.” More recently, in a post from December 2018, he said a mid-sized great white was in the “top 10 for sure, but still a long way from crushing [my personal best] from two years ago.”"

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