Do not disturb the sharks.
That's the message from officials with the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary as white sharks make their annual appearance off the San Francisco coast this fall.
And though most of us would gladly give sharks a wide berth anyway, sanctuary officials want boaters, wildlife watchers and other
water-sport enthusiasts to avoid disturbing the animals.
White sharks concentrate around the Farallones from September through November as they feed on seals and sea lions, sanctuary officials say. Research has shown that wildlife watchers who use food and other lures to draw sharks near tourism boats disrupt the animals' normal feeding activities.
In 1994, California banned fishing for white sharks. And in 2009, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration restricted the luring of white sharks in the sanctuary except under special permit.
The Farallones marine sanctuary is known as one of the most biologically productive ocean areas in the world, established to protect diverse wildlife and habitats.