Why no aquarium has a great white shark

Why no aquarium has a great white shark

Many have tried to keep a white shark in captivity. Here’s why that’s so difficult.

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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.


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20 Responses

  1. Change Is Stable says:

    an AI robot once said that us humans will be kept in a human zoo, except
    for that guy that was nice to him.

  2. GeeWizard says:

    so, dogs should be called landsharks…?

  3. JugCityKid says:

    A lot of people saying that we shouldn’t try to capture the sharks. If you
    can capture one, the more research you can do. The more research you can
    do, the more information you have available to help it ie. Improve breeding
    to increase population growth, or help promote genes that will aid in

  4. StivenFilmsEverything says:

    Dont talk about problems if you do not have an idea for a solution

  5. Daniel Torres says:

    Humanity systematising captivity… harsh.

  6. Moritz Weikert says:

    shes so cute

  7. Slamz Dunk says:


  8. John Thompson says:

    Alot of effort to torture an apex predator for the gawking masses.

  9. markatl84 says:

    I love these types of episodes, Vox. Good video!

  10. Peaches Monroe says:

    Learned a lot. Thanks!

  11. Dodgy Turk says:

    In Turkish we call sharks “köpekbalığı” which literally means “dog shark”.
    Pretty interesting

  12. NameNotNew says:

    Abolish aquariums, they a prisons!

  13. autumnleepea says:

    did you know that sharks enter a stream in the ocean, to keep themselves
    moving, when they get tired. usually do this late at night.
    scientists believes this is how they sleep. this was found very recently.
    i think that may be a reason why these sharks died, they tired themselves
    out by swimming and not relaxing in a stream….but then again these are

  14. Sudstah says:

    Better population management, better housing development and increasing the
    habitat for wild animals that is what’s needed! most animals are made to
    live free!

  15. Austin Mose says:

    almost like they aren’t meant to be in captivity

  16. frenchforcupcake says:

    I’m actually really surprised that Monterey kept going and getting more
    great whites, I’ve visited there from Ireland and always thought they had a
    huge focus on wildlife conservation and education – but to do this over and
    over seems more akin to sea world.

  17. airjaff says:

    Don’t keep them! Leave them alone

  18. Yukino Takada 雪乃 鷹だ says:

    Shark is cool,we need more shark in the aquarium to increase visitor!

  19. Rick Sanchez says:


  20. kSweens says:

    You should probably mention the juvenile shark was actually rescued from a
    fishermans net