Churaumi’s great white dies after three days

Churaumi Aquarium in Motobu, the most popular tourist attraction in the prefecture, added a great white shark to its residents with high expectations, but the shark died after just three days in its new home.

The shark went in the display tank at the aquarium Jan. 5th, but it suddenly died about 9:30 Friday morning.

The great white is considered difficult to keep, and the specimen in Churaumi was the only one in the world currently in captivity.

A staff member at the aquarium said that the shark was fine when it came to the aquarium, but suddenly something seemed to be wrong with it early Friday morning. The shark had difficulty swimming, and it sank to the bottom of the tank. Specialists at the aquarium are trying to determine the cause of its death.

The great white is regarded as one of the most dangerous shark species, and gained notoriety throughout the word after it was featured in the popular Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic movie ‘Jaws.’

In the past there had been only two attempts to keep a great white shark in an aquarium. One of them lived a few months in a facility in the U.S. and the other lasted only four days in an aquarium in Shimane Prefecture, Japan.

The shark in Churaumi Aquarium was a 3.5-meter-long male. It was caught in fishing net of the Yomitan Village Fishery Cooperative on Jan. 4th and taken next day to the aquarium. During the 41-year-history of the Churaumi Aquarium, only 16 great white sharks have been caught and transferred to the facility. However each one of them was already dead or died just after transfer.

12:37 22 Apr , 2024