Fewer great white sharks are left in the oceans than there are tigers surviving on Earth, it has been claimed.
The two top predators are almost equally under threat, but the plight of great whites needs more recognition, according to Canadian expert Dr Ronald O’Dor.
Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Diego, he told how the discovery was made by colleagues from the Census of Marine Life.
He said: “I recently heard a report from the team that’s been tagging great white sharks.
The estimated total population of great white sharks in the world’s oceans is actually less than the number of tigers.
“We hear an awful lot about how endangered tigers are but apparently great white sharks are pretty close to the same level. Some people say ‘I don’t care, they eat people,’ but I think we have to give them a little space to live in.”
Dr O’Dor, from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, added: “The Australians have now got a system where they put tags on great white sharks and they have receivers on the beaches so when a great white comes into the bay the receiver automatically makes a cell phone call and tells the guy in charge to close the beach.
So we can co-exist with marine life.”
“Until recently, people thought sharks were bad and there was no urge to save great whites.
Now people are beginning to understand that they are rare and that they are a wonderful species.”