Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D—Long Beach) introduced AB 2191 Monday to fund research of the increasing numbers of sharks along the California coast as well as protection efforts for beachgoers against sharks.
“As a parent, my priority is the safety of our kids,” O’Donnell said. “This bill is about learning why there are more sharks and how to deal with the increase so we can keep our kids safe at the beach.”
AB 2191 establishes the White Shark Population Monitoring and Beach Safety Program in order to provide grant funding to academic institutions conducting research regarding white sharks along the California coast.
O’Donnell introduced the measure in collaboration with California State University, Long Beach and the college’s renowned shark lab, which has been on campus since 1966.
“The upward numbers of sightings and encounters between people and sharks mean that increased funding for research and new technology is vitally important,” CSULB Shark Lab Director Chris Lowe said. “When you factor in the rising numbers of people who come to the ocean for swimming, surfing, fishing and other types of recreation, the likelihood of interactions between the two species is inevitable and beach closures more likely. Investing in white shark monitoring, education and safety ultimately benefits beachgoers, local tourism, businesses and the overall health of the marine environment.”
The bill now awaits referral to its first policy committee.
Source: O’Donnell’s office