About the Shark Research Committee

Guest Speaker
Media Consultant

Pacific Coast
Shark News

Sharks of the Pacific Coast

White Shark Biosketch

Distribution and Diet of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Predatory Behavior of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Shark/Human Interactions Along the Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast
Shark Attack

Fatal Pacific Coast Shark Attacks
1900  —  Present

Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 2000 —

Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 1990s

Case Histories of Unprovoked White Shark Attacks:


White Shark Interactions with Inanimate Objects


Shark Encounters:

White Shark Encounters Along the Pacific Coast

Soupfin Shark Encounter

Reporting Forms:

  Shark Attack

  Shark Encounter

  Shark Predation

Shark Web Sites:

Recommended Links


AB 376 & Methylmercury


Why should you support passage of AB 376?

The goal of AB 376 is to save sharks and the oceans by banning the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins.


Why should we regulate shark fins?

Sharks are vital to the health of the World's Oceans. Sharks are also a health hazard. Like other top marine predators sharks contain Methylmercury (MeHg) in their tissue and cartilage.


What is methylmercury and why should you be concerned?

Methylmercury (MeHg) is one of the biologically most active and dangerous poisons that is frequently consumed by humans.

Inorganic mercury occurs naturally in the environment. Methylmercury is formed from inorganic mercury by microorganisms that live in all oceans, lakes, and streams. Methylmercury is 1,000 times more toxic than inorganic mercury. It increases in concentration as it moves up the food chain. This process is called BIO-ACCUMULATION. When shark meat, or shark fin soup, is eaten nearly 100% of Methylmercury is assimilated by the human body. It passes the blood-brain barrier without any difficulty and reaches the brain undiluted something other toxic substances cannot do. Even the mechanism that separates the mothers bloodstream from the embryo (diaplacentary barrier) is passed without any problem, the protection of 'Mother Nature' for the unborn baby is functionless. The accumulation of Methylmercury to the embryonic and developing brain and other vital organs cannot be prevented.

The National Academy of Science estimates that in the United States alone more than 60,000 children are born each year with neurological disorders the result of Methylmercury poisoning. The main health concerns include; possible increase in coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, autoimmune antibodies, immune dysfunction, infertility, type 2 diabetes, massive disorders of the brain and peripheral nervous system, severe kidney damage, cancer, and even mutations can result from methylmercuy poisoning. What is most frightening about Methylmercury toxic exposure – damage to the central nervous system cannot be reversed.


What are the safe levels for Methylmercury?

The EPA considers 0.1 micrograms of Methylmercury per Kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of body weight. What does that mean? It means that you and I can have 1/10th of 1 – 1,000,000th of a gram of Methylmercury for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. So what are the consequences of eating a shark steak or bowl of shark fin soup? Example; A 4oz. shark steak contains about 455 micrograms of Methylmercury. If you weigh 155 lbs. your Methylmercury intake from that serving is about 6.7 micrograms of Methyl Mercury per kilogram of body weight or you would receive 67 times the EPA allowable amount of Methylmercury. Studies have shown that the concentrations in the shark's cartilage are even higher. Methylmercury toxic expert Jane Hightower has said; “No safe level has ever been found for chronic exposure to Methylmercury.”


Why do we need sharks?

Sharks are vital in maintaining the health of the World's Oceans, which are the most important ecosystem on our planet. The oceans convert the carbon dioxide that we put into the atmosphere, and then convert it into 50 – 70% of the oxygen we breathe, depending on the analysis you read. That life is kept healthy by sharks, which are at the top of the food chain and regulate the oceans. By destroying the sharks we are also destroying our oceans and the life support of our planet. A study in 2010 determined that 33% of all known species of pelagic sharks were close to extinction. Like the dinosaurs…..gone forever. Please call one or more of the California Senators on the Appropriations Committee and ask them to support AB 376. You can also help by sending a tax-deductible contribution to the Shark Research Committee and help us continue our efforts to pass this legislation to – ‘Save the Sharks – Save the Oceans.'


The material contained on this Web site is shared as a public service and to further the scientific goals of the Shark Research Committee.  All text and images on this Web site are the exclusive property of the Shark Research Committee.  Information on this Web site may be used for private study, but may not otherwise be published, duplicated, or modified in any way without the prior written permission of Ralph S. Collier.