Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
(Photo: Bob Talbot)

From the white sharks that silently patrol the Gulf of the 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.

Check Out These Sanctuary Sharks!

And Here's Where to Find These Guys...
Click the map icons for more about each shark species.


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 Gulf of the 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.


Saved by a Shark

child and shark teeth

This lesson plan will depict the effect that sharks have in the Caribbean coral reef system and will show students how overfishing of sharks has a ripple effect on the marine ecosystem. Students will learn about the balance in the reef ecosystem among sharks and other carnivorous fish. Students will see that predatory behavior is not inherently negative and predators are a vital part of a balanced ecosystem. Video - Lesson plan


child and shark teeth

If you're in the San Francisco area, bring this exciting program on shark biology to your school. Explore the myth and reality of sharks from around the world. Discover the unique daptations, diverse forms and lifestyles of sharks through hands-on artifacts and activities.

Group size: minimum 12, maximum 36. Length: 60 minutes. The program is offered for grades 4-6.
For more

Humpback Shark Attack

child and shark teeth

Officials from NOAA's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the Marine Mammal Response Network, responding to a report of an ailing humpback whale off the Kailua-Kona area of the Big Island, captured dramatic photographs of a tiger shark attack on a humpback whale that eventually resulted in the endangered marine mammal's death. Full story

SHARK STEWARDSHIP: The information you share with others plays a crucial role in the protection of sharks.


vending machine

The yearly risk (in the United States) of dying from a shark attack is roughly 1 in 250 million. In contrast, the yearly risk of dying from a vending machine accident is roughly 1 in 112 million. The vending machine is indeed roughly twice as lethal as the shark!

Best of the Worst Shark Movies
However you describe them...guilty pleasures, wastes of time, wanton disregard for science, you can't help but watch 'em. Here are a few of our favorite terrible shark movies.

Sand Sharks
A shark with the ability to swim through sand attacks a popular beach. Uh huh, right up on the beach. Talk about getting sand in all the wrong places.

Sharks in Venice
They don't mean Venice Beach, although they should've. Even a Baldwin brother and cool Italian accents can't help this movie.

Super Shark
This film involves a walking, flying, bulletproof shark as it terrorizes a town's 4th of July celebration. Yes, we said walking.

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
The shark in this film is apparently shrinking. In one scene it swallows an entire boat but in the next can barely put the full chomp on one puny dude.

A military experiment gone wrong leaves a creature with the top half of a shark and the tentacles of an octopus. That pretty much says it all.

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
After the two are released from an iceberg, a prehistoric shark, capable of jumping tens of thousands of feet in the air to attack commercial planes, fights a giant octopus, which is able to pull oil rigs down with only its tentacles. This one actually sounds pretty good.

Mega Shark vs. Crocasaurous
Because Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus wasn't enough, this movie features a giant shark battling a giant crocodile off the coast of Florida. Looks like producers were hoping for the Godzilla effect for Mega Shark. There have been no recent sightings.

Jaws 4: The Revenge
A vengeful shark seeks out the people responsible for the deaths of all the other sharks in the previous Jaws movies. Because a shark never forgets. And did we mention that the shark growls.

Sharknado and Sharknado 2
Like there was any way these wouldn't make our list.


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.

tiger shark

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 Gulf of the 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
Great white sharks are an important part of the ecosystems off California's coast. Media and Public Outreach Specialist for the Gulf of the 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.

galapagos shark

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.

shark media library screen capture shark encyclopedia screen captureMORE SHARK AWESOMENESS

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

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!

great white shark

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