photo of great white shark
Photo: Bob Talbot

Sharks in the Sanctuaries

From the white sharks that silently patrol the Greater Farallones to the graceful hammerheads that congregate at the Flower Garden Banks, sharks are some of the national marine sanctuaries' most beautiful - and important - underwater residents.


White Shark Stewardship Project

white shark with tagging devices attached
Left: white shark with tagging devices attached. Right: satellite archival tag

The primary objective of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is resource protection. The goal of the White Shark Stewardship Project is to protect and conserve the White Shark population that utilizes the sanctuary.

Shark Videos

During a shallow decompression stop following a deep dive in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA divers Marissa Nuttall and Greg McFall get some company from an unexpected visitor… (Credit: Greg McFall/NOAA)

We joined the Tagging of Pelagic Predators (TOPP) team as they conducted research on white sharks in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of California. This is our first short video in the "Your Earth is Blue" series, and we invite you to share your videos taken in sanctuaries by tagging them #earthisblue on YouTube and Instagram.

Shark Podcasts

tiger shark

Sharks! with Jean-Michel Cousteau

It's #SharkWeek and we want you to know that sharks play an important part in the ocean's overall health. Sharks are thrilling and mysterious, yet are threatened by human actions and need to be protected, rather than feared. Join our guest, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of famed Jacques Cousteau and leader of Ocean Futures Society, to hear more about sharks and why they should be protected worldwide.

Help Give Sharks a Fighting Chance

In celebration of their 100th Thank You Ocean Report podcast, Thank You Ocean launched a contest that let their fans select their favorite podcast. The winner: sharks! The Project AWARE Foundation is a non-profit conservation organization working with divers around the world to conserve underwater environments. On this report, former Director Jenny Miller Garmendia talked about one of their projects that is aimed at protecting sharks.

California's Thank You Ocean Campaign is a nonprofit partnership supported by the State of California, National Marine Sanctuaries and the Ocean Communicators Alliance. The campaign mission is to raise awareness of the benefits the ocean provides to us and to identify ways each of us can help protect the ocean in our everyday lives. Sharks are featured in several podcasts.

Sharks at the Farallon Islands

The Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco are a haven for seals, seal lions, seabirds and sharks. Mary Jane Schramm, Media and Public Outreach Specialist for Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, shares the natural history of the sharks that inhabit this area and their important role in this ecosystem.

Protecting Great White Sharks

galapagos shark

Great white sharks are an important part of the ecosystems off California's coast. Media and Public Outreach Specialist for the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Mary Jane Schramm discusses new regulations to protect great white sharks in this sanctuary just west of the Golden Gate Bridge.

California Law Protects Sharks Against Brutal Finning

Shark finning is a practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean to die. The fins are then dried and consumed in costly shark fin soup. California's historic Shark Protection Act, banning finning, was recently signed into law, working toward ending the destruction of shark species globally. Listen to an interview with Assembly Member Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael),who authored the groundbreaking bill.

Sharks and Rays Coloring Book

Drawings of various sharks

Download this fun coloring book to discover the sharks and rays of the Channel Islands.

Webinar: Sharks of the Channel Islands

The National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series provides educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. Watch this hour-long webinar that targets formal and informal educators.

Sharks in Your National Marine Sanctuaries

illustrations of sharks highlighting their teeth and skin

Sharks have been around for a long, long time – they evolved before the dinosaurs did, and their time on Earth even predates trees! Over these hundreds of millions of years, they’ve adapted key features that enable them to thrive in a variety of habitats. Learn more about the key species of sharks found in the National Marine Sanctuary System.

More Shark Awesomeness

shark media library screen capture

Get up and close and personal with more than 50 sharks by checking out the Sanctuary Shark Video Gallery.

While sharks like the hammerhead, whale and tiger may be more familiar names, there are dozens you've probably never heard about. The sixgill shark closely resembles fossils that date back to the triassic period more than 200 million years ago, the gray reef sharks will hunch their back, pointing their pectoral fins downward before attacking an intruder, and make sure you don't miss the basking shark - these guys can get up to 45 feet long!