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Great white shark dies after 3 days in Okinawan aquarium


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Great Whites do not belong in aquaria. Ever.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

They knew this beforehand:

Keeping a great white shark in captivity is extremely difficult as it needs to keep swimming constantly to get oxygen and maintain its body temperature.

and they knew this was happening:

It had refused to eat any food since being caught

but they did nothing about it. They let it die.

They were pandering to ignorance despite supposedly know what they are doing:

“Many visitors had asked us to exhibit the great white shark

Animal Rights groups should come down on them with a fury and lots of bad publicity. Animals are not "exhibits".

16 ( +20 / -5 )

believes its efforts contribute to education and science

they certainly validate the science

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The aquarium people knew the conditions and the potential danger and risks, and if they didn't know then they don't deserve to be working there. They should try walking around in a closet and see how long they last.

8 ( +12 / -4 )


3 ( +6 / -3 )

Well, I hope the meat does not go to waste. Poor shark belonged out in the surf with the surfers.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

“Many visitors had asked us to exhibit the great white shark,”

That pretty much says it all (cue exasperated eye roll). Now, many visitors and non-visitors worldwide are obviously asking this incompetent institution to close its doors. Let's see if they accommodate that request...

Anyway, here is the press release posted to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium website (absurdity at its worst):

Termination of Great White Shark exhibition

We are going to announce termination of Great White Shark exhibition. We had been displayed the shark in "the Sea of dangerous sharks" tank from January 5th, 2016 but, the shark's condition took a sudden turn worse and we confirmed its dead January 8th.

(Followed by a telephone number and address for inquiries)

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It seems that more visitors would have wanted to see the great white shark much closer. The aquarium did it a little bit but it died soon.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

It's a well known fact that Great Bite Sharks do now survive in captivity. That is why there are none in captivity.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Here are some snippets from an Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium website press release posted on January 5th, absurdly ironic in retrospect.

"Great White Shark" now on display!

We started the display of "Great White Shark" the largest predatory on earth.

Although the difficulty in transporting and keeping living Great White Sharks in aquariums, we have succeed to display the shark in our aquarium.

≪Past precedent keeping record of Great White Shark in other aquariums≫

・Several-months record in Monterey Bay Aquarium, the United States

・4-days record (2002) in Shimane Aquarium AQUAS, Japan

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is the sole aquarium displaying a living Great White Shark in the world at the present.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

sad to hear. why kept in the aquarium? now is gone. aquarium stays the way it was, but losing a life which can be prevent and the decease can swim freely in the ocean where belong.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Websites are one thing, the aquarium is another. Visit the place and you might be surprised to learn what their goals are and what they do. On the surface people see one thing, the reality is much different.

-7 ( +3 / -11 )

Such killer sharks are one of the strongest fish and have survived for thousands of years but it seems one of the weakest fish somehow in comparison with other fish.

-5 ( +4 / -8 )

Great Whites are delicious. Just like the Mako, another Mackerel Shark, they taste just like swordfish. Amonia does not affect their meat, Oh and Jason needs to get a life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

but it seems one of the weakest fish somehow in comparison with other fish. actually theyre design has been around for millions of years and hasnt changed much except its size. they roam huge distances in search for food thyre not designed to be couped up in a small tank, bit like keeping a whale in a swimming pool

6 ( +7 / -2 )

Here's a video of the shark in the tank


fact from the site above:

Only the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has successfully displayed white sharks, after obtaining permits. The aquarium has tagged and released its sharks as soon as they’ve shown signs of stress, or have become too large.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has put six white sharks on exhibit since 2004, and spokesman Ken Peterson says it’s the only facility “to successfully exhibit white sharks for more than 16 days, to consistently get them take food that we offered, and to successfully return the sharks to the wild.”

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sounds like those that run this aquarium are rather incompetent.

Hey if I request they keep a Blue Whale for my viewing pleasure they are going to consider it.........NUTS!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

the aquarium abides by Japanese and international laws and believes its efforts contribute to education and science.

(Isn't that the same excuse they use for killing whales??)

3 ( +7 / -3 )

I'm sure the guys who "accidentally" caught it in a net decided to NOT let it go and bring it to the aquarium because they were "scientists."

I find it hard to believe that after accidentally catching a great white, they'd call an aquarium. This is hunted and caught, just like in jaws.

For "Science."

6 ( +8 / -2 )

“Many visitors had asked us to exhibit the great white shark,”

Next time, take a video of it then release it back into the ocean.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yeah, it is a bit fishy (no pun intended) that someone "accidentally" caught a great white and, just coincidentally, the local aquqrium, which apparently has been getting loads of requests to see great whites, happened to have a tank big enough to house one and all the gear, personell, food etc necessary to try displaying one completely ready to go at the same time.

The vast majority of Zoos and aquariums in Japan do not have the space to hold large animals in a humane way, I wish they would stop taking them on.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"The shark seemed to be doing well" ...except for the fact that it hadn't eaten for three days!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Sounds like those that run this aquarium are rather incompetent.

Sounds to me like you know nothing of what you are talking about.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The shark had no chance of survival in an artificial pond.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There's something fishy about this story.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Such flippant, casual carelessness from people who are supposed to be animal lovers is so annoying. Stories like this only reinforce the view of much of the world that Japan has little love for nature.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Basically, they thought they could make a quick buck, and are now desperately trying to backpedal. They bragged about the success of so,etching they said was "extremely rare" and talked about why (they have to be kept constantly swimming to live), and now that it died are claiming they followed all rules (with something that's a first here). I don't agree with a lot of PETA's claims, but they are bang on here:

"The cause of the death is clear: captivity". Boycott the aquarium,

3 ( +4 / -1 )

basically it was dead before they took it to the aquarium. it was trapped in a net for who knows how long. it died from toxic shock due to a build up of acid. scientific challenge? i think not.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@smith. Agreed

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sad that this fish got more comments than the latest newborn to be abandoned in a toilet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

everyone thats been to this aquarium knows that its a **** aquarium. They keep a bunch of whale sharks rays, and other fish in a tank thats not big enough (well, is big, but it has too much fish in it) and no foliage. It looks like a swimming pool they should put rocks or something inside. Maybe my standards are too high, because i used to live near the Monterey Bay Aquarium

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This sounds a bit fishy, "The 3.5 meter shark, which was accidentally caught in a net" why didn't the fishermen let it go if it was caught in there net? or did the aquarium preorder it? you know "look lads if you ever get a GWS (accidentally) we will buy it from you" great PR for the aquarium, but it has back fired on them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


Animal Rights groups should come down on them with a fury and lots of bad publicity. Animals are not "exhibits".

Agreed. Ever been to a zoo here? I've been to at least a dozen - the conditions in which the animals are housed is criminal. Ueno Zoo is no exception.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

well as self-proclaimed expert on sharks and my favorite of all the Carcharodon carcharias! all I can say is what a cruel and idiotic decision to keep a majestic and powerful creature in a padding pool, especially when everyone and their aunty knows that these creatures do not handle captivity at all!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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