Great White Shark Population on the Rise

    UNDATED FILE PICTURE - A Great White Shark swims past a diving cage off Gansbaai about 200 kilometres east of Cape Town. Hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1970's and 1980's, the Great White is now a protected specis in many parts of the world. In South Africa shark cage diving forms a growing business in the eco- and adventure tourism industries. 

    Ho New/Reuters

    A new study by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that since 1997, the population of great white sharks has risen by an estimated 42 percent—which is good news, despite the Jaws theme music playing in your head. “Our white sharks and all of our sharks are the real balance keepers,” said Chris Fischer, founding chairman and expedition leader of research firm Ocearch. “We need them in our oceans…There’s just no robust path forward for the ocean without lots of sharks.” The report credits the population increase to a federal ban on hunting great whites, an increase in the population of seals (sharks’ favorite food), and conservationists’ efforts to change the animals’ image.

    Read it at ABC News