In 2010, Barbara Block of Stanford University estimated the world population of great white sharks at less than 3,500 individuals. A June 2014 report from the Florida Program for Shark Research estimated that there are 3,000 great whites in the eastern North Pacific alone, suggesting a higher world population.
Great white sharks are not easy to count, as they can migrate long distances and do not surface to breathe. Photographic tags are of limited use in identifying individuals, as scars, nicks on fins and other unique markings can change over time. Accurate estimates of the great white population are important in establishing the appropriate conservation status for the species.