Its Sharktober: Celebrating Sharks

It's 'Sharktober'  From Marin Independent Journal and San Francisco Chronicle

Each fall, the great white sharks return to the Marin shoreline to feed in the rich waters of the Gulf of the Farallones. Due to the increased sightings of white sharks, local surfers call the season "Sharktober."

These enigmatic apex predators are returning after an epic voyage crossing the ocean from a communal feeding area thousands of miles offshore.

Sharks get a bad rap, yet sharks are in trouble, including white sharks, which are an endangered species.

One third of open ocean sharks are threatened with extinction. Sharks were once undesirable bycatch on lines set for tuna or swordfish, but are now  increasingly targeted for their fins.

We can protect our sharks in our sanctuary, but we cannot protect them in international waters. The practice of killing sharks for their fins to supply the shark fin soup trade is threatening shark populations worldwide.

Scientists have demonstrated that sharks play a vital role for a healthy ocean ecosystem and need our protection.

Recently, California legislators led by Assemblypersons Paul Fong and Jared Huffman and supported by groups like Sea Stewards and The Turtle Island Restoration network successfully passed legislation to reduce the shark fin trade.

This month, Sea Stewards are celebrating sharks and the passage of the California Shark Protection Act.

This Sharktober, join Sea Stewards celebrating the ocean's diversity of life, including sharks, and do your part to help protect all marine life in the sanctuary and beyond.

Visit www.seastewards.org to find more information and join the celebration.

David McGuire, Director Shark and Mercury Programs. Turtle Island Restoration Network, Forest Knolls