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Research Technical Report

Report on the Use of Attractants in the Fishing Industry

Johnston, D., A. King, and MBNMS Research Activity Panel (1994)

Report to the MBNMS Sanctuary Advisory Council, December 9, 1994

Research Activity Panel, A Working Group of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, Deborah Johnston, California Department of Fish and Game; Supplimental bibliography by Aaron King, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary


To clarify the context of the terms that are used, a list of definitions is provided. Definitions used are taken from Federal and State laws and regulations where they exist. Federal laws and regulations are noted in bold italics and State laws and regulations are noted in italics only.


  • means finfish, mollusks, crustaceans, and all other forms of marine animal and plant life other than marine mammals and birds [Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act Section 3(7)]
  • means wild fish, mollusks, or crustaceans, invertebrates, or amphibians, including any part, spawn, or ova thereof (Cal. Fish & Game Code Section 45)


  • means the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish; the attempted catching, taking, or harvesting of fish; any other activity which can reasonably be expected to result in the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish; or any operations at sea in support of, or in preparation for, any activity described in subparagraphs above [Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act Section 3 (10)]


  • means the taking of, or attempting to take, fish by hook and line with the line held in the hand, or by hook and line with the line attached to a pole or rod which is closely attended or held in the hand in such a manner that the fish voluntarily takes the bait or lure in its mouth (Cal. Fish & Game Code Section 15)


  • means the placing in the water of fish, parts of fish, or other material upon which fish feed, for the purpose of attracting fish to a particular area in order that they may be taken (Cal. Fish & Game Code Section 27)
  • chumming, including chumming with live bait, is permitted (in ocean waters) (Title 14, California Code of Regulations Section 27.05)


  • means hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill (Cal. Fish & Game Code Section 86)
  • means to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal [Marine Mammal Protection Act Section 3(12) and 50 CFR Section 17.3]


  • Legally acquired and possessed invertebrates, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians, fish eggs and treated and processed foods (Title 14, California Code of Regulations Section 4.00)
  • (Live freshwater bait) Licensees located in districts adjacent to ocean waters and within five miles of ocean waters may possess and sell live bait species which may be used in ocean districts. A live bait fish licensee may not possess or sell alive those species of fin fish which are approved for use by sport fishermen (Title 14 Chapter 7 Section 200.13). The live bait fishery ranges from San Diego to Morro Bay catching sardine, herring, anchovy, flyingfish, mackerel, queenfish, and mudsucker for sale to saltwater fishermen (Marine Baits of California 1964).

° food or other lure placed on a hook or in a trap and used in the taking of fish, birds, or other animals (American Heritage Dictionary 1992)

Traditional Fishing

  • Taking of fish by methods that are authorized in the California Fish & Game Code and Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations for commercial or recreational purposes and has been used in a fishery that has been targeted.

White Shark

  • White shark may not be taken, except under permit issued by the Department pursuant to Section 1002 of the Fish and Game Code for scientific or educational purposes (Title 14, California Code of Regulations Section 28.06)
  • It is unlawful to take any white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), except under permits issued pursuant to Section 1002 for scientific or educational purposes. This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 1999, and as of that date is repealed unless a later enacted statute, deletes or extends that date. (Cal Fish & Game Code Section 5517)
  • It is unlawful to take any white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) for commercial purposes, except under permits issued pursuant to Section 1002 for scientific or educational purposes or pursuant to subdivision (b) for scientific or live display purposes. Notwithstanding subdivision (a) white sharks may be taken incidentally by commercial fishing operations using set gill nets, drift gill nets, or roundhaul nets. White shark taken pursuant to this subdivision shall not have the pelvic fin severed form the carcass until after the white shark is brought ashore. White shark taken pursuant to this subdivision, if landed alive, may be sold for scientific or live display purposes. Any white shark killed or injured by any person in self-defense may not be landed (Cal Fish & Game Code Section 8599)
  • Section 106. Permits to Commercially Take Shark and Swordfish Using Drift Gill Nets. The Owner or operator of a vessel using drift gill nets to take shark and swordfish pursuant to sections 8561-8570 of the Fish and Game Code shall have obtained a valid drift gill net shark and swordfish permit and shall be in possession of said permit when engaged in such activities. The Department shall issue permits to the owner or operator of a currently registered vessel who has qualified for said permit (this is a limited entry fishery based on previous landings of shark) (Title 14, California Code of Regulations Section 106)

Answers to Questions Posed

  1. Does the use of certain types of chum (e.g. mammal blood and/or tissue) pose a risk to Sanctuary resources or to human beings by the possible release of pathogens or other harmful substances?

    Chum is defined in the California Fish & Game Code Section 27 as the "placing in the water of fish, parts of fish, or other material upon which fish feed, for the purpose of attracting fish to a particular area in order that they may be taken." Chum, when used, has traditionally been documented to consist of live fish, fish blocks, and fish blood and a single use satisfies the conditions of this section. However, pinniped parts, tuna oil, sheep parts and blood, pig parts and blood, horse parts and blood, have been used along the coast to take sharks and, in a few instances to attract sharks for photography and viewing by caged divers (especially white sharks). Another incidence where the nonfish chum has been used is by scientists studying shark behavior (Klimley 1994). These scientists no longer use chum because they have determined that chum interferes with the shark's natural behavior (P. Klimley pers. comm.).

    Bacterial and viral infections have been documented in pinnipeds which may have originated from terrestrial species (Osterhaus et al. 1988, Smith et al. 1973). Some of the diseases that occur in pinnipeds also may occur in terrestrial mammals and include: acute viral hepatitis, leptospirosis, dermatomycosis, influenza A virus, retrovirus, herpesvirus, canine distemper, salmonella meningoencephalomyelitis, staphylococcal and toxoplasmosis (Geraci et al. 1982, Stroud & Roelke 1980, Kennedy-Stoskopf et al. 1986, Northway 1972). There are few documented records of diseases transferred to humans from marine mammals (e.g. handling or being bitten by pinniped) (Webster et al. 1981, Mass et al. 1981). It has been suggested that chum could act as a vector for potentially harmful bacteria and viruses to both marine mammals and humans.

    Humans that recreate in Sanctuary waters are exposed to pathogens and virus released from sewage treatment plants and other point and nonpoint sources. Virus and coliform bacteria have been detected in secondarily treated sewage plant's effluent (Monterey Wastewater Reclamation Study for Agriculture 1987). Pathogens require an environment of temperatures averaging 37o C to survive and reproduce (U.S. Congress, OTA 1987). Sediments provide a higher exposure pathway of bacteria and virus to humans than through the water column as they are attached to settable solids. The placement of chum may add a slight risk to people should they come in contact with harmful substances which may exist in chum containing terrestrial mammal parts. If any of the chum material contains harmful substances, the probability of human disease probably would be less than from exposure to the effluent from a permitted sewage treatment plant.

    The use of chum also may fall under the auspices of the EPA Ocean Dumping Regulations [40 CFR Section 220.1(c)(1)(ii)]. Fish wastes are excluded from these regulations unless the dumping occurs at a location where the Administrator (EPA) finds that such dumping may reasonably be anticipated to endanger health, the environment or ecological systems. Further Section 227.7(c)(1)-(3) establishes additional limits for specific wastes including: wastes containing living organisms may not be dumped if the organisms present would endanger human health or that of domestic animals, fish, shellfish and wildlife by: (1) extending the range of biological pests, viruses, pathogenic macroorganisms or other agents capable of infesting, infecting or extensively and permanently altering the normal populations of organisms.
  2. What are considered to be, to the best of your knowledge, traditional fishing operations in the Sanctuary?

    Fishing operations that are considered traditional fishing operations include: trawling -rockfish, flatfish, etc., hook and line - recreational and commercial, trolling - salmon, gill net - rockfish, halibut, lingcod, etc., crab traps - commercial use mostly rockfish carcasses as the bait, and diving - rockfish, cabezon, lingcod, and invertebrates (sea urchin, abalone). Traditional fishing operations use bait to facilitate the taking of fish. In most cases, bait is used in conjunction with hooks. Crab pots are baited to lure crabs into the pot. In the squid fishery, light is used to facilitate the taking of squid. Traditional fishing operations (both commercial and recreational) in the Sanctuary do not include the activity of chumming. Another legal take method but non-traditional is the use of bow and arrow fishing tackle. There is a once a year archery contest for taking blue sharks just outside Elkhorn Slough. In Elkhorn Slough, there is on an average, a shark derby twice a year. One derby uses angling and the other uses archery to take the shark (neither using chum) (King & Cailliet 1992).

    Different shark fisheries have existed off the central California coast since the mid 1880s. They are usually a short lived fishery, as sustainable catches only last for a few years (Ferguson and Cailliet 1990). Elasmobranchs have low reproductive rates due to their low fecundity, slow growth rates, and late age of maturity (Holden 1974, 1977). The first commercial fishery was that of the Chinese immigrants taking sharks for their fins which were dried and exported to markets in San Francisco and China. In the 1940s sharks were taken for the vitamin A-rich liver oil they could supply, primarily soupfin and spiny dogfish. This fishery lasted approximately eight years. The soupfin shark fishery was decimated in 1944 (Cailliet et al. 1991). Also during this time basking sharks were taken, again for oil and as food. The basking shark fishery lasted approximately four years. The drift gill net fishery for thresher shark lasted for approximately six years; these sharks were taken for food, primarily from 1980 to 1985 (Cailliet et al. 1991). Thresher sharks were most often taken in the drift gill net fishery targeting swordfish during the 1970s (C. Haugen pers. comm.). State legislation passed in 1986 limited the directed thresher shark fishery to 30 days during May. All directed fisheries for this species were terminated prior to 1990 season and a tri-state management plan to limit the fishery was implemented in October 1990 (Cailliet et al. 1991). When the shark fishery existed (in the now Sanctuary boundaries), sharks were primarily taken by gill nets and harpoon for commercial purposes and hook and line for recreational purposes. The principal shark species involved in the fisheries were thresher, shortfin mako (=bonito), blue, soupfin, angel, and leopard shark. Sharks taken now are mostly incidental catches such as spiny dogfish and brown smooth-hound. Total pounds of shark landed in California in 1993 were approximately 837,000 pounds (30,000 pounds landed at Monterey) compared to a high of approximately 3.5 million pounds in 1981 (Cailliet & Bedford 1983, R. Leos pers. comm.). There is no record of a white shark fishery. There is no documentation that any of these traditional fishing operations used chum to enhance the probability of catching sharks.
  3. What types of chum are used in such operations and to what extent?

    Traditional fishing activities since the early 1900s did not use chum as an attractant for their targeted species in the Sanctuary boundaries. Southern California recreational shark fishery uses live fish as their chum, targeting mako and blue sharks. Since the early 1980s about 90 percent of the annual albacore catch has been made by trolling jigs and 10 percent by live-bait (chum) pole-and-line fishing (albacore fishing occurs in Sanctuary boundaries). In earlier years, live-bait fishing sometimes accounted for up to 40 percent of the annual catch (California's Living Marine Resources and Their Utilization 1992). Commercial passenger fishing vessels (party boats) occasionally use chum to attract striped bass into the area. These fish are then taken by hook and line using bait or artificial lures (R. Thomas, President Golden Gate Fishermen's Association, pers. comm.).
  4. Does the use of attractants to draw species to an area create significant behavioral changes, changes in trophic relationships, or pose health risks to that species?

    The use of attractants does cause a short-term behavioral change in the targeted species as exemplified by fisherman's use of scented bait to catch fish or underwater photographers smashing urchins to draw in fish. Sharks are known to be drawn to a specific area based on sensory (hearing and olfactory) changes in their environment. Sharks have been trained to respond to both of these stimuli, but the success of that training depends on sufficient frequency with lots of repetition (D. Nelson, CSU Long Beach, pers. comm.). A case may be presented to indicate white shark affinity to the Farallon Islands and Año Nuevo Island areas due to the frequency that they are found in the area and the continued seasonality of their use of these areas. Klimley (1994) found that individual white sharks often fed at the same location (at the Farallon Islands) at similar times during successive years. Strong et al. (1992) found a clear tendency for white sharks at Dangerous Reef to revisit the places where they were previously observed, suggesting a relatively high degree of site attachment. The white sharks exhibited an "island patrolling" pattern which may represent a home-ranging pattern (Strong et al. 1992). Their findings suggest that white sharks in the Spencer Gulf (includes Dangerous Reef) area constitute a local population that may be especially vulnerable to over exploitation.

    Sharks have been observed to alter their feeding behavior based on external clues (e.g. learned behavior) (Ebert 1991, Clark 1963). However, long-term behavioral changes have not been documented. An area where "chumming" has continued over many years, often several times in a short period, is Dangerous Reef in southern Australia, but no long-term studies have occurred there (Nelson pers. comm.). Shark feeding behavior seems to be indiscriminate; taking learned "prey-shaped" items as long as the target "matches" a known prey item (e.g. a surfer lying prone on board has a silhouette similar to a seal etc.). Strong et al. (1992) findings from studies at Dangerous Reef suggested that white sharks select their prey by shape. However, at the Farallon Islands, S. Anderson has documented that white sharks select prey of all shapes and sizes. Dr. Nelson (pers. comm.) speculated that a prey item more than 1/2 mile from a shark would be outside it's visual range and therefore, the shark would rely on hearing or olfactory clues to bring it closer to a prey item. Pinniped colonies produce a wealth of olfactory stimuli, much of which is washed or released directly into the sea (Strong et al. 1992).

    Klimley (1994) tentatively concluded that stimuli used in baiting studies could attract sharks from distances up to five kilometers (they used chum containing blood). Strong et al. (1992) observed white sharks swimming in a criss-crossing patterns several kilometers downstream of the baiting station for periods of up to 12 hours after cessation of chumming. Bait particles drifting down and concentrating along the bottom over a period of days may have created a "secondary bait source" that each shark investigated after baiting stopped (studies ranged from 31-50 days). Changes in trophic relationships or risks to sharks' health from "chumming" activities have not been documented. It would be very difficult to establish changes in behavior or distribution associated with the shorter-term chumming activities.

    The development of dolphin-feeding cruises in the Gulf of Mexico is one example of the use of attractants that has been determined to cause significant negative behavioral changes in marine mammals. The National Marine Fisheries Service banned dolphin-feeding cruises in 1991 based on the scientific risks to both dolphins and humans. The ban was imposed following testimony that feeding cruises exposed wild animals to disease and physical danger, and could alter their migratory and feeding behavior. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the ban in 1993. The Court agreed with scientific evidence that feeding activities can have adverse effects on wild populations. Federal court testimony described alterations in natural behavior, increased harmful interactions with humans, and dolphin deaths attributed to bacteria that are commonly found on spoiled fish.

    Other changes in animal behavior, resulting from people altering the natural feeding methods or locations, have been documented, including changes in prey items, location of feeding, and changes in behavioral patterns. Examples include feeding of bison in Yellowstone National Park, feeding of bear and deer in Parks, polar bears at Churchill Canada, and feeding of fish in Hawaii. In all cases, the ensuing behavioral changes forced regulators to prohibit feeding activities to protect the animals and the people feeding them. In the Hawaii example, the feeding resulted in increases in selected fish species and thus affected natural community structure on the artificial reefs (Department of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii, 1993).

    Chumming for white sharks occurs frequently at Dangerous Reef in Australia sometimes more than once per day (Nelson pers. comm.). The South Australia Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries Division recommended that legislation be developed to prohibit chumming at Dangerous Reef because of changes in the white shark's behavior (R. Kennedy pers. comm.). Anecdotal observations by fishers and divers suggest that the population of white sharks in South Australia has undergone a serious decline in recent years. In 1989, the Threatened Fishes Subcommittee of the Australian Society for Fish Biology appended the white shark to the Australian Threatened Fishes List in the "uncertain status" category. The committee suspected that white sharks had suffered a significant reduction in numbers or distribution but there were insufficient data to adequately estimate the species' population size or to asses human impact upon it (Strong et al. 1992). The South African government recently passed new legislation to protect the white shark as a result of fears that the species may be on the verge of extinction. Under the legislation, the white shark is given protected species status, making it illegal to hunt or fish for them (Marine Pollut. Bull. 1991 22(12):576-577).
  5. Has this been evidenced in the Sanctuary or in comparable areas?

    The use of attractants in the Sanctuary appears to be a recent activity starting within the last several years (probably within the last 10 years) in the Monterey Bay and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries. Historically (since early 1900s), attractants were not used for taking sharks. Traditionally sharks were taken by various types of gill nets, hook and line, or harpoon (no chumming used). However, all shark fisheries have been short lived (5-7 years) and sharks now taken are incidental to the targeted species (see response to question #2). Southern California sport fishermen do use live bait to attract mako and blue sharks in a very limited fishery. Chumming for the pelagic mako and blue sharks in southern California for caged diver observations occurs an average of 10-20 miles offshore in deep waters (Nelson pers. comm.) mostly from vessels based out of the Channel Islands.
  6. To the best of your knowledge, what are the current activities of this type, other than traditional fishing practices, occurring in the Sanctuary?

    The use of attractants appears to be limited to a very few research occurrences and very limited film making activities, and recently commercially offered recreational diving trips. There are no commercial or recreational fishing trips that use attractants for the purposes of catching fish and shark are not targeted on these trips.

    The use of chum seems to be limited to attracting white and blue sharks in the Sanctuary. It was used by a fisherman trying to catch the shark that killed a surfer off Spanish Bay (Asilomar State Beach) in 1981, (J. Houk pers. comm.) which was determined to be a white shark (Lea & Miller 1985). It has been used off Año Nuevo to bring sharks close to caged divers for personal observations (J. Capella pers. comm.). At the Farallon Islands chum has been used to attract white sharks for photography or video sessions on four occasions from 1978 to 1994 (P. Pyle pers. comm.). Chumming for white sharks off the Farallon Islands has occurred sporadically between 1985-1987 for research studies (Klimley pers. comm.). Fish, blood, and sheep were deployed in a burlap bag at a hanging-bait station (Klimley 1987), however, the sheep was only mouthed and not eaten. Researchers at the Farallon Islands have abandoned the use of chum as an attractant because it alters the natural feeding behavior of the shark and has been found to not be necessary to attract the sharks to the islands (Klimley, Pyle pers. comm.).
  7. Are there any areas of the Sanctuary where this type of activity should not occur, given the area's importance to marine species and customary human uses that may be incompatible?

    There are several areas within the Sanctuary where the taking of marine species are prohibited. Some, such as Hopkins Marine Life Refuge and Pt. Lobos Ecological Reserve, were established to protect all life forms. The newly established Big Creek MRPA Ecological Reserve was specifically established to allow research as the only activity within its boundaries. Chumming in conjunction with the take of fish, would not be allowed in any of these areas (R. Hess pers. comm.).

    If chumming was to occur in areas where sharks are known to congregate (eg: Año Nuevo and Farallon Islands), the time frame and frequency of feeding must be considered before a determination that a change in long-term behavior, that may be detrimental to the white shark and other marine organisms, could be made. To document that long-term behavioral changes did result from chumming activities, the natural feeding rates and amounts eaten would need to be known. Klimley (1987) noted that white sharks feeding on pinnipeds at the Farallon Islands appeared to feed in bouts separated by one to two days at a single location. Carey et al. (1982) suggested, based on an estimate of the energetic value of a prey item and metabolic cost to an active white shark, that individuals were capable of fasting for month-long periods. A question that needs to be answered is, "Would prolonged or consistent chumming for sharks alter movement or distribution patterns to result in greater than normal aggregations of sharks, and would they continue to aggregate in anticipation of chum?" Preliminary answers suggest that sharks could possibly congregate in areas of chumming but most likely would not remain in the area if baiting is used infrequently (Nelson, pers. comm.). Strong et al. (1992) suggested that when baiting extends for many days, bait could concentrate along the bottom creating a "secondary bait source" that sharks would investigate after the baiting stops.

    None of the shark species, utilizing Sanctuary waters, excluding white sharks, commonly prey on marine mammals (the larger sharks such as sevengill, mako, and salmon eat fish, B. Lea, pers. comm.). White sharks are known to congregate around Año Nuevo Island and the Farallon Islands where their preferred prey, young seals and sea lions, are abundant (Klimley 1994). Año Nuevo Island has, throughout time, supported breeding populations of pinnipeds which are utilized as food by white sharks. Le Boeuf et al. (1974) documented that elephant seals reach their maximum numbers at the Farallon Islands in mid-spring and late fall when other pinniped species are at their annual low. At the Farallon Islands, white shark attacks on pinnipeds occur most frequently from September to December with peaks in October and November (Klimley et al. 1992). White sharks appear to be targeting elephant seals and California sea lions.

    Records of the stomach contents of 24 white sharks were analyzed and fish were found to be the most frequent prey items, however, marine mammals also were common. Analysis of prey type in relation to shark size shows small sharks (< 3m) feed primarily on fish prey while larger sharks feed on marine mammals, especially pinnipeds (Tricas and McCosker 1984). Younger (smaller) white sharks infrequently are taken north of Point Conception and their prey are fishes. The white sharks in the Sanctuary appear to eat pinnipeds (a switch from eating fish found in smaller shark stomachs) indicating that they are older-aged sharks. Older sharks also are known to feed on whale carcasses (Nelson pers. comm.).

    People that spend time in the water in areas known to be utilized by sharks are exposed to the possibility of dangerous interactions with sharks. The use of chum in areas frequented by people may increase the likelihood of these interactions. If chumming activities are determined to be permissible by Federal law, they should occur outside areas frequently used by people to minimize interactions.

    The American Elasmobranch Society (members include professional researchers studying sharks and rays) conducted a recent survey of its members (1994) which included questions on shark baiting and the protection of sharks. One of the questions asked was "In regard to shark-diving operations which involve regular baiting, is there a cause for concern (re: shark attack) if such shark diving operations are conducted relatively close to bathing or surfing beaches?" The response resulted in 46 percent yes, 48 percent depends, and 5 percent no answers. A second question asked "There are cases where certain shark species (eg, white shark) should be protected, even though they may represent a hazard to humans in the water - agree (97%) and disagree (3%)".
  8. As requested by the Sanctuary Advisory Committee, the following compilation of shark attacks documented in the Sanctuary is provided.

    The shark attack data was published in Sharks and Survival by Gilbert 1963, Biology of the White Shark by Sibley 1985, Shark Attacks in California and Oregon by Miller and Collier 1981, and an assortment of newspaper articles. The frequency of shark attacks in the 100-mile area between Año Nuevo Island and Bodega Bay is 10 times greater than the frequency of attacks over the remainder of the California coastline (Miller & Collier 1981). In this area, the greatest number of shark attacks occurred at Tomales Point and Farallon Islands, areas of coastline with relatively little skin diving effort. No divers have been attacked or harassed in any of the over 100 spearfishing competition meets that have been held since 1956 at many different cities from San Diego to Fort Bragg. The highest concentration of skindiving effort in central and northern California occurs in Carmel and along Cannery Row, Monterey. White sharks occur in these localities, but there has never been an attack on a human in these heavily utilized areas (Miller & Collier 1981). Since this report two attacks have occurred in Carmel Bay and one off Lovers Point, Monterey (Lea pers. comm.).

    Gilbert and Lea categorize shark attacks into four categories: provoked attacks, boat attacks, doubtful attacks, and unprovoked attacks. Provoked attacks include all cases in which a shark was caught, trapped, speared, injured, or in some way provoked, and then attacked the victim. Unprovoked attacks include all cases in which unprovoked sharks have made physical contact with the victim or the gear being worn. Doubtful shark attacks include cases in which unprovoked sharks have approached swimmers but failed to make physical contact; this category also includes cases reported as shark attacks but which subsequent investigations tended to discredit or place in doubt, or cases in which the victim was dead before being mutilated by a shark. There is no documentation of provoked shark attacks in the Sanctuary, one attack on a kayak, two attacks on inflatables, and one doubtful shark attack. The following unprovoked shark attacks (1926-1993) are listed by the county where they occurred:

Documented in Sanctuary Boundaries

San Mateo......................................10 attacks (1 fatal, 9 not fatal) ...................all attributed to white shark

Santa Cruz......................................4 attacks (4 not fatal)......................................1 attributed to white shark

Monterey......................................8 attacks (2 fatal, 6 not fatal)...................all attributed to white shark

Not documented as being in Sanctuary Boundaries

San Francisco ...................2 attacks (1 fatal)*.........................................................1 attributed to white shark

Marin.........................................................8 attacks (8 not fatal, all but 1 occurred at Tomales Point)

Farallon Islands...................7 attacks (7 not fatal)......................................all attributed to white shark

San Luis Obispo...................5 attacks (1 fatal)*.........................................................1 attributed to white shark

* numbers are for documented fatalities or hits only, in other words they do not all add up

Therefore, since 1926, 22 shark attacks have been documented as occurring in the Sanctuary boundaries of which three were fatal. A further breakdown finds that 8 attacks (1 fatal) were on surfers.

Literature Cited:

Cailliet, G.M. and D.W. Bedford. 1983. The biology of three pelagic sharks from California waters, and their emerging fisheries: a review. CalCOFI Report, XXIV:57-69.

Cailliet, G.M., D.B. Holts and D.W. Bedford. 1991. A review of the commercial fisheries for sharks on the west coast of the United States. Shark Conservation: proceedings of an International Workshop on the Conservation of Elasmobranchs held at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia, 24 February 1991.

Carey, F.G., J.W. Kanwisher, O. Brazier, G. Gabrielson, J.G. Casey, and H.L. Pratt, Jr. 1982. Temperature and activities of a white shark, Carcharodon carcharias. Copeia, 1982(2):254-260.

Clark, E. 1963. The maintenance of sharks in captivity, with a report on their instrumental conditioning. In: Sharks and survival. D.C. Heath and Co. under arrangements with the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

Department of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii. 1993. Preliminary report on the relationship between fish feeding, artificial reefs and the risk from sharks on inshore recreational users at Waikiki Beach, Oahu. Report on House Concurrent Resolution No. 180, House Draft 1, Seventeenth Legislature, 1993 Regular Session. Honolulu, Hawaii.

Ebert, D.A. 1991. Observations on the predatory behaviour of the seven gill shark, Notrynchus cepedianus. So. Africa Jour. of Mar. Sci., 11:455-465.

Ferguson, A. and G.M. Cailliet. 1990. Sharks and rays of the Pacific Coast. Monterey Bay Aquarium Natural History Series, p.64.

Geraci, J.R., D.J. St. Aubin, I.K. Baker, R.G. Webster, V.S. Henshaw, W.J. Bean, H.J. Rukake, J.M. Prescott, G. Early, A.S. Baker, S. Madoff, and R.T. Schooley. 1982. Mass mortality of harbor seals: pneumonia associated with influenza A virus. Science, 215:1129.

Gilbert, P.W. 1963. Sharks and survival. D.C. Heath and Co. under arrangements with the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

Holden, M.J. 1974. Problems in the rational exploitation of elasmobranch populations and some suggested solutions. In: F.R. Harden-Jones (ed.), Sea Fisheries Research. John Wiley and Sons, New York, p. 117-137.

Holden, M.J. 1977. Elasmobranchs. In: Gulland (ed.), Fish Population Dynamics. John Wiley and Sons, New York, p. 187-215.

Kennedy-Stoskopf, S., M.K. Stoskopf, M.A. Eckhaus, and J.D. Strandberg. 1986. Isolation of a retrovirus and a herpes virus from a captive California sea lion. J. Wildl. Dis., 22:156.

King, A.E. and G.M. Cailliet. 1992. The Elkhorn Slough shark derby: past and present. Chondros, 3(2):1-4.

Klimley, A.P. 1987. Field studies of the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. In: Current Research Topics in the Marine Environment.

Klimley, A.P., S.D. Anderson, P. Pyle, R.P. Henderson. 1992. Spatiotemporal patterns of white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) predation at the South Farallon Islands, CA. Copeia, (3):680-690.

Klimley, A. Peter 1994. The Predatory Behavior of the White Shark. American Scientist, 82(2):122-133.

Lea, R.N. and D.J. Miller. 1985. Shark attacks off the California and Oregan coasts: an update, 1980-84. Mem. S. Calif. Acad. Sci., 9:136-150.

Le Boeuf, B.J., D.G. Ainley and J.T. Lewis. 1974. Elephant seals in the Farallones: population structure of an incipient breeding colony. J. Mammal. 55:370-385.

Leet, W.S., C.M. Dewees and C.W. Haugen. 1992. California's living marine resources and their utilization. Sea Grant Extension Publ., UCSGEP-92-12.

Mass, D.P., W.L. Newmeyer, and E.S. Kilgore. 1981. Seal finger. J. Hand Surg., 6(6): 610-611.

Miller, D.J. and R.S. Collier. 1981. Shark attacks in California and Oregan, 1926-1979. Calif. Fish Game, 67(1):76-104.

Monterey Wastewater Reclamation Study for Agriculture: Final Report. 1987. Engineering Science, 600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94710.

Northway, R.B. 1972. Leptospirosis in a California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Vet. Med. Sm. An. Clin., 67(2): 138-141.

Osterhaus, A.D.M.E., and E.J. Vedder. 1988. Identification of virus causing recent seal deaths. 1988. Nature, 335: 20.

Sibley, G. (ed.). 1985. Biology of the White Shark. Mem. So. Ca. Acad. Sci., Vol. 9.

Smith, A.W., T.G. Akers, S.W. Madin, and N.A. Vedros. 1973. San Miguel sea lion virus isolation, preliminary characterization and relationship to vesicular exanthema of swine virus. Nature, 244: 108.

Strong, W.R., Jr., R.C. Murphy, B.D. Bruce and D.R. Nelson. 1992. Movements and associated observations of bait-attracted white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias: A preliminary report. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 43(1):13-20.

Stroud, R.K. and M.E. Roelke. 1980. Salmonella meningoencephalomyelitis in a northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus). J. Wildl. Dis., 16(1): 15-18.

Tricas, T.C. and J.E. McCosker. 1984. Preditory behavior of the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), with notes on its biology. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci., 43(14):221-238.

U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. 1987. Wastes in marine environments, OTA-O-334, Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office.

Webster, R.G., J. Geraci, G. Petursson, and K. Skirnisson. 1981. Conjunctivitis in human beings caused by influenza A virus of seals. 304(15): 911.

Other Relevant Literature:

Ainley, D.G., et al. 1981. Predation by sharks on pinnipeds at the Farallon Islands. NMFS Fish Bull., 78:941-945.

Ainley, D.G., et al. 1985. Dynamics of white shark/pinniped interactions in the Gulf of the Farallones. Mem. South. Calif. Acad. Sci., Vol. 9.

Ames, J. A. and G. V. Morejohn. Evidence cf white shark, Caroharodon carcharias, attacks on sea otters, Enhydra lutris. Calif. Fish and Game. 1980; 66(4): 196-209.

Au, D.W. 1991. Polyspecific nature of tuna schools - shark, dolphin and seabird associates. Fish. Bull., 89(3):343-354.

Baldridge, H.D. 1974. Shark Attack: A program of data reduction and analysis. Contrib. Mote Mar. Lab., 1(2):1-98

Britt, J.O., A.Z. Nagy, and E.B. Howard. 1979. Acute viral hepatitis in California sea lions. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 175(9): 921-923.

Bruce, B.D. 1992. Preliminary observations on the biology of the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, in south Australian waters. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 43(1):1-11.

Burgess, Jr., G.H. 1985. Shark aggression in nearshore waters: A Florida Perspective. Proceedings of Sea Symposium '89. Florida Sea Grant.

Byers, R.B. 1940. The California shark fishery. Calif. Fish Game, 26(1):23-38.

Casey, J., H.W. Pratt, N. Kohler and C. Stillwell. 1988. Shark tagging provides needed biological data. Marine Fisheries Review, 50(3):54-56.

Casey, J.G. and N.E. Kohler. 1988. Shark tagging studies provides needed biological data. Marine Fisheries Review, 50(3):54-56

Casey, J.G. and N.E. Kohler. 1988. Shark tagging studies. Marine Fisheries Review, 50(3):56-57

Clary, M. 1993. Shark bitten. Sea Frontiers. 39(6): 22-29.

Coghlan A. 1991. Protecting bathers with a short shark shock. New Scientist. ISSN: 26 October.

Coles, B.M., R.K. Stroud, and S. Sheggeby. 1978. Isolation of Edwardsiella tarda from three Oregon sea mammals. J. Wildl. Dis., 14: 339-341.

Compagno, L.V. 1981. Legend versus Reality: the jaws image and shark diversity. Oceanus, 24(4):5-16.

Compagno, L.V. 1991. Government protection for the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in South Africa. South African Journal of Science, 87(7):284-285.

Cousteau, Voltaire. 1973. How to swim with sharks: a primer. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 25:528.

Cliff, G. and S.J. Dudley. 1992. Protection against shark attack in South Africa. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 43(1):263-272.

Dierauf, L.A., D.J. Vandenbroek, J. Roletto, M. Koski, L. Amaya, and L. Gage. 1985. An epizootic of leptospirosis in California sea lions. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 187(11): 1145-1148.

Dierauf, L.A., L.J. Lowenstine, and C. Jerome. 1981. Viral hepatitis (adenovirus) in a California sea lion. J. Am. Vet Med Assoc., 179: 1191.

Dudley, S.J. and G. Cliff. Some effects of shark nets in the Natal nearshore environment. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 36(3):243-255.

Editors. 1967. Conference on Fish Behavior in Relation to Fishing Techniques and Tactics (1967 : Bergen, Norway) Proceedings of the Conference on Fish Behavior in Relation to Fishing Techniques and Tactics : Bergen, Norway, 19-27 October 1967 / edited by A.Ben-Tuvia and W. Dickson. Rome [Italy] : Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1968-1969.

Editors. 1985. Manual on Shark Fishing. Florida Sea Grant Report No. 73.

Egana, A.C. and J.E. McCosker. 1984. Attacks on divers by white sharks in Chile. Calif. Fish Game, 70:173-179.

Farnsworth, R.J., P.J. McKeever, and J.A. Fletcher. Dermatomycosis in a harbor seal caused by Microsporum canis. J. Zoo Anim. Med., 6:26.

Fisher, M.R. and R.B. Ditton. 1993. A social and economic characterizaton of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico recreational shark fishery. Marine Fisheries Review, 55(3):21-27.

Fussman, C. 1991. Hunting the hunter. Life. August:22-30.

Gage, L.J., L. Amaya-Sherman, J. Roletto, and S. Bently. 1990. Clinical signs of San Miguel sea lion virus in debilitated California sea lions. J. Zoo Wildl. Med., 21(1): 79-83.

Gordon, I. A new record extending the southerly distribution of the shark ray (Rhina ancylostomus), and notes on the behavior of the specimen in captivity. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 43(1):325-343.

Grissim J. 1991. To catch a great white shark. National Fisherman. 72(7): 20-22.

Gruber, S.H. 1988. Why do Sharks attach humans? Naval Res. Rev., 40(1):2-13.

Harvey, J.T. 1989. Food habits, seasonal abundance, size, and sex of the blue shark, Prionace glauca, in Monterey Bay, CA. California Fish and Game, 75(1):33-44.

Hurley, G.V., H.H. Stone and D.W. Lemon. 1987. The dogfish scourge: Protecting fishing gear from shark attack. Can. Ind. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 180: 42p.

Jones, P. 1991. South African shark conservation. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 22(12):576-577.

Klimley, A.P. 1985. The aerial distribution and autoecology of the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, off the west coast of North America. Mem. South. Calif. Acad. Sci., 9:15-40.

Le Boeuf, B.J. et al. 1982. White shark predation on pinnipeds in California waters. Fish. Bull., 80:891-895.

Martin, L. 1993. Shark conservation—educating the public. In: Conservation Biology of Elasmobranchs. NOAA Technical Report, NMFS 115:61-64.

McCosker, J.E. 1985. White shark attack behavior: Observations of and speculations about predation and prey strategies. Mem. South. Calif. Acad. Sci., 9:123-135.

McCosker, J.E. 1991. When the great white shark bites. Pac. Discovery, 44(4):26-30.

Nakaya, K. 1993. A fatal attack by a white shark in Japan and a review of shark attacks in Japanese waters. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 40(1):35-42.

Osterhaus, A.D.M.E., J. Groen, P. De Vries, F.G.C.M. UytdeHaag, B. Klingborn, and R. Zarnke. 1988. Canine distemper virus in seals. Nature, 335:403-404.

Pepperell, J., J. West and P. Woon. 1993. Shark Conservation: proceedings of an International Workshop on the Conservation of Elasmobranchs held at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia, 24 February 1991.

Pratt, H.L. Jr., J.G. Casey and R.B. Conklin. 1982. Observations on large white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, off Long Island, New York. Fish. Bull., 80(1):153-156.

Ronsivalli, L.J. 1978. Sharks and their utilization. Mar. Fish. Rev., 40:1-13.

Sawyer, J.C., S.H. Madin, and D.E. Skilling. 1978. Isolation of San Miguel sea lion virus from samples of an animal food product produced from northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) carcasses. Am. J. Vet. Res., 39(1): 137-139.

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Tricas, T.C. 1985. Feeding ethology of the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias. Mem. South. Calif. Acad. Sci., 9:81-91.

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Wagner, M.H.. Shark Fishing Gear: A Historical Perspective. Circular 238, U.S. Dept. of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington D.C.

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December 5, 1994

To: Advisory Council Members

From: Ms. Karin Strasser Kauffman, Chair

Subject: RAP Report on the Use of Attractants in the Fishing Industry

Attached is an outline of the Research Activity Panel's proposed report to our Council on chumming and related activities within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. I am sending this to all Council Members so that you can read and review it prior to the public presentation at our December 9, 1994, meeting.

Please note that this is a tentative copy. The report will not be "Official" until it has been received and accepted by our Council. I hope you will read this carefully and be prepared to recommend any necessary changes at our meeting in Half Moon Bay.




299 Foam St
Monterey, California 93940
Phone (831) 647-4257
Fax (831) 647-4250

December 5, 1994

To: Ms. Karin Strasser Kauffman, Chair, SAC

From: Dr. Gregor Cailliet, Chair, RAP

Subject: RAP Report on the Use of Attractants in the Fishing Industry

At the Sanctuary Manager's request, the RAP members have provided the following report for the SAC's use in addressing the questions to his letter dated September 16, 1994.

I concur with my subcommittee's opinion that this report represents the best scientific information available to the questions raised by Mr. Jackson. In my capacity as Chair of the RAP, and as an ichthyologist with expertise in shark biology, I will be happy to answer any questions you or the SAC membership may have on this report at the upcoming SAC meeting in Half Moon Bay.




299 Foam St
Monterey, California 93940
Phone (831) 647-4257
Fax (831) 647-4250

November 29, 1994

To: Dr. Gregor M. Cailliet, Chair

From: Deborah Johnston, Chair, Shark Chumming Subcommittee

Subject: RAP Report on the Use of Attractants in the Fishing Industry

At your request, the members of the subcommittee (Dr. George Boehlert, Jan Roletto, Aaron King - Facilitator and myself) have provided the following report for your use in addressing the questions in Terry Jackson's letter to you dated September 16, 1994. Dr. Robert Lea and Marci Glazer provided input through review of the draft. Also, as you recall, the full RAP was given draft copies of the report at two consecutive meetings and have provided their input. In addition, the Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) was given the opportunity to comment through your verbal presentation of our preliminary findings. The RAP, by unanimous consent at its recent meeting, directed my Subcommittee to finalize the report and present it to you at the earliest opportunity.

It is our opinion, that this report represents the best scientific information available to the questions raised by Mr. Jackson. However, should some of this information be unclear or confusing to the SAC, we will revise the language to enhance understanding of the findings. This is the reason we have left the report in a draft format. We would hope, however, that you will be able to verbally clarify any confusion that other members of the SAC may have.

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
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