Great White Shark Dies in Japan Aquarium After Just Three Days

by | Jan 8, 2016 | Fish, Science, Tanks | 1 comment

In this Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 photo released by Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, a great white shark swims in a water tank specially for ferocious sharks at the aquarium in Motobu, Okinawa, southwestern Japan. The 3.5-meter (11.5-foot) shark has died after barely three days in a rare case of captivity in the Japanese aquarium. The shark, which was accidentally caught in a net in southwestern Japan on Tuesday, died early Friday, Jan. 8, according to the aquarium. The cause of death was under investigation. (Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES

credit: Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Great White Sharks inspire a mix of awe, fear, intrigue and excitement in most people. Movies like Jaws have helped create the media driven fear, while activities like cage diving, in my personal experience, lead to intrigue and respect for these amazing predators. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan just received an 11.5 feet Great White Shark this week, in what it believed to be the first adult Great White Shark to be exhibited (in 2004 the Monterey Bay Aquarium displayed a sub adult for 198 days before being released back into the wild)The shark was caught accidentally in fishing nets and brought to the aquarium. However, on Friday, after being in the aquarium for just three days, the Great White died. The shark had refused to eat since being brought to the aquarium. When it was noticeable that the shark was weakening, and had stopped swimming, the aquarium moved the shark into a separate tank and it was taken off exhibition. The shark was given oxygen in the special tank, but the efforts proved futile, as the shark passed away shortly thereafter. Great White Sharks are notoriously difficult to maintain in captivity and critics and proponents of keeping this species in aquariums abound.  MORE

  • Francis Yupangco

    Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.

1 Comment

  1. Jesus Jimenez

    Great whites belong at sea not in aquariums.


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