My brother Adam wrote about the great white shark captured in a fisherman’s net and put on display at our favorite NoCal haunt, the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We have been going to the aquarium since its foundation, and my parents are charter members. My dad forwarded a message the aquarium sent out yesterday:
Dear Dr. and Mrs. Yoshida,
After careful consideration and planning, we removed the white shark from the Outer Bay exhibit early this morning and released her in the open waters just outside Monterey Bay at 5:45 a.m.
Two factors led to this decision. First, the shark was rapidly approaching a maximum size and weight at which she could be safely removed, transported and released with full confidence that she would thrive. Second, aquarists observed a marked change in her behavior over the past week of what they considered to be active hunting of other exhibit animals and they became substantially more concerned about the well-being of the other fishes.
She was not released because of any injury or health problem. At the time of her release, she was 6′-4″ long and weighed 162 pounds. That means she grew more than a foot in length and gained 100 pounds in her six months on exhibit. She was healthy and strong when she swam away from the boat. We expect her to quickly adapt to hunting and feeding on natural prey. An electronic tag was attached to allow us to track her movements.
The decision to release her into the outer Monterey Bay is based on suitable water temperature and turbidity conditions. It is supported by research from tagging and tracking data about the movements of other young white sharks indicating that they inhabit our offshore waters.
We’re proud of the fact we were able to keep this shark for more than six months and then release her safely back to the wild. You should be proud too as a member of the first aquarium ever to accomplish this. During the time she was here, we developed a better understanding of how best to collect, take care of and ultimately release a juvenile white shark.
Thank you for supporting our efforts to learn more about white sharks and to heighten public awareness about the threats facing shark populations worldwide.
For more information, please visit www.montereybayaquarium.org
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Membership Department
Our mission is to inspire conservation of the oceans.
It’s little things like this that make the MBA the best aquarium in the world, but there are others as well. Off the top of my head:
– Delicious clam chowder served in the cafeteria (do I have my priorities straight or what?)
– Superbly photogenic jellyfish display (I took several nice shots against the blue background a couple years ago and have since found several similar ones taken by other people)
– Cutest otters in the world
– In general, extremely clean and well-organized organized exhibit space
If you ever have the chance to visit, I highly recommend it.