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Great White Sharks Now Protected Under Calif.'s Endangered Species Act

LOS ANGELES ( — Beginning Friday, great white sharks will be protected under California's Endangered Species Act.

The state Fish and Game commission agreed last month to list the shark as a candidate for state protection. The protection became official Friday when the panel's action was published in California Regulatory Notice Register.

The immediate effect will be a ban on incidental takes by net fishermen. Researchers and gillnet fishermen will have to apply to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for permits to tag or accidentally capture a shark.

Targeted sport and commercial fishing of great whites has been banned in waters off California since the mid 1990s.

Thanks to the protection, an extensive study of great white populations off the California coast will be conducted in early 2014.

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