Great white shark dies after days in Japan aquarium
A great white shark which was captured and
exhibited in a Japanese aquarium, one of only a few such sharks to ever be displayed in
this way, has died just after three days, the facility said Saturday.
The shark, about 3.5 metres (11’5”) in length, was trapped in a fisherman’s net and taken
to an aquarium on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa on Tuesday.
It was exhibited in the Sea of Dangerous Sharks section at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, but
died on Friday, according to the facility. The aquarium, popular for its giant tanks
where it exhibits whale sharks, said it is investigating what caused the death of the
fish — of the same species as that featured in Hollywood buster “Jaws”.
“It is very difficult to keep great white sharks,” said Keiichi Sato, an expert in cartilage
fish, of the Okinawa Churashima Foundation. Two aquariums in the United States, including
Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, have had the species in captive for short periods
in the past, he said. “It is rare that the kind of shark is spotted
in the coastal waters of Okinawa in the first place, and even if they get caught in a fisherman’s
net they usually die immediately because they must keep moving at high speed,” Sato told
AFP. “We have almost no knowledge about the great
white’s nature, so although it died we would like to share what we learnt from this experience
with researchers of the world,” he added.