Bring MPAs into the Bay

Shark Sanctuary San Francisco- Protecting sharks and the entire ecosystem.

Support our goals of bringing the Marine  Protected Areas into the San Francisco Bay.  Sign here to urge the California Fish and Game Commission to continue where the Marine Life Protected Act left off: at the Golden Gate.

The Bay Deserves Our Protection

The San Francisco Bay is an important and complex ecological system whose influence extends from the Sierra to the Sea.  In the past century, the Bay has undergone dramatic change. Nearly 95 % of wetlands habitat have been impacted.  Dredging, pollution and toxic runoff have impacted marine life and overfishing is causing our fisheries to collapse. The San Francisco Bay is an important nursery for several species of sharks and rays. The Shark Sanctuary is an initiative to better understand and help conserve our remaining living resources, especially sharks, and to support habitat restoration and ecosystems in the Bay such as eelgrass beds and native oysters.

The Shark Sanctuary is a multi faceted ecosystem protection approach using sharks as a symbol for the health of the entire bay, from the Delta to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Shark Sanctuary is based on the following:


The State of California has established a network of interconnected marine protected areas along our 1100 miles of coastline.  From Mexico to Oregon we have now protected 16% of important marine regions along the coastline.

Under the Marine Life Protection Act, the San Francisco Bay was considered as the last of five regions. We have protected the coast- now we need to remind the California Fish and Game Commission that we also need to protect  critical species like sharks, salmon and herring protected along with important habitat and marine foundation species such as salt marshes, native oysters and eelgrass beds inside the San Francisco Bay.  But our regulators have neglected the Bay.

Our Work Includes:


  • Determining the size, range and biology of local shark populations through Mark and Recapture and Genetic Analysis.
  • Evaluating the impacts of Shark Fishing on the Bay shark populations
  • Protecting sharks from overfishing

Ecosystem Protection:

  • Evaluating existing research and impacts on entire ecosystems of select regions of the San Francisco Bay known to host shark populations.
  • Determining regions with ideal habitat that will benefit sharks and other fish and marine invertebrates.
  • Defining regions where shark pupping is known to occur.
  • Developing partners and establish stakeholder support including fishermen to support protected areas in the San Francisco Bay.
  • Garnering support from local and state fisheries management to establish seasonal, size and regional protection for sharks.


  • Raising awareness on the importance of sharks locally and globally.
  • Shark Stewards: Reaching out to schools and the public through shark events to celebrate the importance of sharks and a healthy San Francisco Bay.
  • Conducting ecosystem assessment of select regions for considering marine protection
  • Educating recreational fishers on the impacts of mercury and other toxins in bony fish and sharks taken from the Bay.
  • Promoting the practice of catch and release of all sharks in the San Francisco Bay
  • Developing a voluntary marina education program discouraging the landing of sharks.
  • Advising consumers about health risks from mercury toxicity

What Can You Do?

For a Healthy Ocean and San Francisco Bay we must fish and consume fish sustainably.

Help support sharks and a sustainable fishery through sustainable consumption and fishing practices.

Help us raise awareness that shark consumption and shark fin soup is not healthy for humans or for shark populations.

Help us educate consumers and let the community know that sharks are important for a healthy San Francisco Bay and World Ocean.