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Researchers find great white shark population growing in Pacific

Published on Jun 17, 2014 7:36 AM
A Great White shark is pictured in the Eastern North Pacific in this undated handout photograph courtesy of Kevin Weng, University of Hawaii. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ORLANDO (REUTERS) - A new look at research on great white sharks in the eastern north part of the Pacific Ocean indicates the population is likely growing rather than endangered, according to an international research team.

"The good news is that white sharks are returning to levels of abundance," said George Burgess, director of the Florida Programme for Shark Research, who led the new study published on Monday in the journal Plos One.

The findings upend an impression of alarming low numbers left by a 2011 Stanford University study which led to petitions by conservationists to add white sharks to state and federal endangered lists, Burgess said.

Stanford researcher Barbara Block said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters the data in the two studies is not inconsistent. "We stand firmly behind the findings of our study, and our ongoing research only increases our confidence in its accuracy," Block wrote.

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