Why no aquarium has a great white shark

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  • Published on:  Friday, July 8, 2016
  • Many have tried to keep a white shark in captivity. Here's why that's so difficult.

    There are several aquariums around the world, including one in Georgia, that house whale sharks, the biggest fish in the sea. But not one has a great white shark on display.

    Aquariums have made dozens of attempts since the 1970s to display a captive great white shark. Most of those attempts ended with dead sharks.

    By the 2000s, the only group still trying was the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which spent a decade planning its white shark program. In 2004, it acquired a shark that became the first great white to survive in captivity for more than 16 days. In fact, it was on display for more than six months before it was released back into the ocean.

    In the following years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium hosted five more juvenile white sharks for temporary stays before ending the program in 2011. It was an expensive effort and had come under criticism due to injuries that some of the sharks developed in the tank.

    Responding to those critics, Jon Hoech, the aquarium's director of husbandry operations, said: "We believe strongly that putting people face to face with live animals like this is very significant in inspiring ocean conservation and connecting people to the ocean environment. We feel like white sharks face a significant threats out in the wild and our ability to bring awareness to that is significant in terms of encouraging people to become ocean stewards."

    Check out the video above to learn why white sharks are so difficult to keep in captivity and how the Monterey Bay Aquarium designed a program that could keep them alive.

    Link to the Biodiversity Heritage Library: https://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary/albums

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  • Source: https://youtu.be/QMbHLF_zwjs


  • charlotte i guess

     (May 27, 2017)

    how many sharks have to die before yall realize that maybe the best place for them is in their natural habitat

  • Noodle Boy

     (9 hours ago)

    shut up emo

  • Daniel Kang

     (3 days ago)


  • George Henry Moore

     (May 24, 2018)

    Here's an idea, why not keep em in the biggest tank, what's it called, oh yeah, THE OCEAN.

  • Pedro Ivo

     (6 days ago)

    +Tony TEH oh yeah... we got a smart one

  • Frances Lawhon

     (Mar 5, 2019)

    Not my reply

  • Jenny Burnett

     (Jul 9, 2018)

    "Took in"? I think you mean kidnapped

  • Juan Montes

     (4 days ago)

    Katsuki Bakugo lol

  • Vincent2wice

     (Mar 6, 2018)

    Sleep deprivation is why the sharks are dying.... sharks sleep while still swimming, it's hard to do that in a circular glass tank. Hence the bumping into the glass and the sores

  • fadhel farras

     (6 days ago)

    and don't forget, Great White Shark is a pelagic shark, they roam in open ocean, so...

  • Dai mon

     (May 14, 2018)

    Just let them free no one wants to be in captivity

  • Righteous1

     (Mar 20, 2017)

    Let's say the truth here, stress kills the sharks mentally.

  • Phyco Buzzaxe21

     (1 day ago)

    It's lack of sleep, not stress

  • Dragon Forest AJ

     (Nov 5, 2018)

    Human 1: *Puts shark in tank*Shark 1: *Dies*Human: HMMMMMMMM *Puts shark 2 in bigger tank*Shark 2: *Dies*Human 2: What if we get a smaller one so it won't die as quickly?Human 1: Sounds humane enough

  • Gabriella Bussanmas

     (Feb 4, 2018)

    This is sick letting sharks die just to test out how to keep them in tanks for our viewing! Even though they are scary doesn’t mean they deserve this!!

  • Mikkel Højen

     (Mar 15, 2019)

    +Aarya Tripathi You are seriously messed up ... I want to believe you. Just like many others. Why? Because we are good people, that abhore animal cruelty. But that feeling doesn't justify any of the claims you are putting forth. I'll only give you a summary, because you'll run in circles yet again otherwise: you just watched a video where they attempted to learn more about a shark by putting it in captivity. They tried as hard as they could to keep the shark alive, and when they found out that they wou...

  • Aarya Tripathi

     (Jan 12, 2019)

    Jennifer Lynn i dont think you understand my points at all but have a nice day

  • Silje Aaserød

     (Mar 3, 2018)

    Imagine some other lifeform accidently catching us in their "fishnet" and then be like; hey, since you're allready in a net, why not put you in a glass box for all the others to look at. And if you die after some days its okey, cause there are plenty of more humans to collect and to be put inside this great box. I dont get why its different just because its a shark. Poor creatures, they need to be free not put on display for us humans.

  • Radian

     (1 day ago)

    1. Humans are too intelligent to put in a "tank", so any other "species" could not take us down. Even if we were in that situation morr likely a nuclear war with these things then getting to that point.2. HUMANS CAN'T BREATHE UNDER WATER

  • Phyco Buzzaxe21

     (1 day ago)

    it's different because it's a shark because they can't see well nor can they be stationary and sleep, if a human was put in a glass cylinder and fed and gave water and stuff, they could live in there for the rest of their life

  • M SJ

     (May 26, 2018)

    Goodness, can’t humans just keep them were they belong. Sharks aren’t meant for show viewing and being kept in aquariums.

  • Radian

     (1 day ago)

    Most sharks are fine. This was a bad case. Humans aren't evil for aquariums.

  • Ideal Flamingo

     (Mar 15, 2019)

    _You wouldn't know anything about fish if they don't do this. And plus, Let them be. They have a right. It aint a crime._