Biology of the White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in Aquaria

Ezcurra, J. M., Lowe, C. G., Mollet, H. F., Ferry, L. A., Murray, M. J., & O’Sullivan, J. B. (2017). Biology of the White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in Aquaria. The Elasmobranch Husbandry Manual II.
TitleBiology of the White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in Aquaria
AuthorsM. Ezcurra, C. Lowe, H. Mollet, L. Ferry, M. Murray, J. O’Sullivan
AbstractSince 2004, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, has displayed six juvenile white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758), in the 3,800 m3 Outer Bay exhibit. Upon capture, the sharks (132 - 164 cm total length (TL) and 19.6 - 47.0 kg body mass (BM)) were held in a 13,800 m3 ocean pen to initiate feeding prior to transport. Oxygen consumption rates of free-swimming C. carcharias during transports were analyzed, yielding one of the highest reported mass-specific muscle oxygen consumptions (MO2) for any shark species (246 ± 13 mg O2/kg/h). While on display (70 - 198 days), four of the C. carcharias fed consistently at a daily ration of 747 ± 46 g, or 1.62 ± 0.15% BM/day. One shark did not feed and was released after 11 days; another shark fed intermittently and was released after 55 days, but died immediately post-release. Mean mass growth rate for C. carcharias at the Monterey Bay Aquarium was 71.6 ± 8.2 kg/yr, with a corresponding mean dietary gross conversion efficiency of 27.1 ± 3.8%. The mean length growth rate (64.9 ± 8.5 cm/yr), was approximately twice the rate estimated from a published von Bertalanffy growth function. All C. carcharias were fitted with pop-up archival satellite tags upon release, which provided evidence of post-release survivorship.
JournalThe Elasmobranch Husbandry Manual II