Great White Sharks Thriving in U.S. Waters

Things are looking up for great white shark populations in U.S. waters.

Researchers credit the encouraging numbers to federal and state regulations put into place in the 1990s to protect great white sharks and many of the marine mammals that great whites are known to consume. The regulations were a response to declining great white numbers in the 1970s and 1980s, when commercial and recreational fisheries pressured the predatory species.

“For once we’re getting some good news,” says George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. “[White shark] numbers are going up, and [great whites are] probably in a better situation than we’ve seen them in our lifetimes.”

That doesn’t mean they’re fully recovered, says Burgess, who was involved in both studies. White sharks take years to reach sexual maturity; females need to grow to about 15 feet (4.6 meters) long. Pregnancies likely last between 12 and 18 months. And after females give birth—typically to 2 to 14 pups at a time—they need about a year before they’re ready for another pregnancy.

All of which means that if populations come back, it happens very slowly.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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