ORLANDO, Fla: : A new look at research on great white sharks in the eastern north part of the Pacific Ocean indicates the population is likely growing rather than endangered, according to an international research team.
“The good news is that white sharks are returning to levels of abundance,” said George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, who led the new study published Monday in the journal PLOS ONE.
The findings upend an impression of alarming low numbers left by a 2011 Stanford University study which led to petitions by conservationists to add white sharks to state and federal endangered lists, Burgess said.
Stanford researcher Barbara Block said in an emailed statement to Reuters the data in the two studies is not inconsistent.
“We stand firmly behind the findings of our study, and our ongoing research only increases our confidence in its accuracy,” Block wrote.
Great whites are the largest of the predatory big-toothed, flesh-eating sharks, growing as big as 20 feet long (about 6.1 meters).