FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – White sharks, more commonly known as great white sharks, have new protections as Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 2109 on Monday, September 19.

Sponsored by Assemblymember Steve Bennett, AB 2109 passed the California legislature with an overwhelming majority of support. The bill aims to get ahead of activities that could lead to increased interactions between white sharks and humans. As well as to give law enforcement more tools to protect white sharks from international efforts to catch or attract them and to protect the public from interactions with white sharks that have been unintentionally hooked by fishermen.

“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 be aware of the new rules that go into effect on January 1, 2023. They can be found in California Fish and Game Code, section 5517. They 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 shark is visible or known to be present.

The CDFW continues to work with partners to proactively address the potential for fishing activities to lead to white shark interactions.

For more information about white sharks, you can visit the CDFW’s white shark information webpage.