Several agencies have put great white sharks on vulnerable or endangered species lists so they have extra protection from trade and commercial and recreational fishing. The World Wildlife Fund tags and tracks them by satellite. In addition, the Australian government instituted a White Shark Recovery Plan to facilitate conservation.

The WWF supports research of great white shark migration patterns as the animals travel to and from the Gulf of California. The organization hopes to use this information to implement a management plan for conservation. In 2013, the Australian White Shark Recovery Plan updated progress in research and suggested further conservation actions. In addition, great white sharks are protected within 200 miles of the coast of New Zealand.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna lists the great white shark as an appendix II animal, which means it is not yet threatened with extinction but may become so if measures are not taken to protect it. The Convention on Migratory Species lists it in appendices I and II. Under the Australian government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act of 1999, it is listed as vulnerable. In 2013, the great white shark was listed in the California Endangered Species Act.

A recent study by a marine biologist at Stanford University estimated the worldwide great white shark population at less than 3,500. According to the WWF, the worldwide population of great white sharks is still decreasing as of 2014. This makes the great white more endangered than the tiger.