Why NO Aquarium In The WORLD Has a Great White Shark!

Have you ever gone to an aquarium and noticed
that they never have a great white shark? Nature’s most fascinating predator is missing. Here are the top 7 reasons why no aquarium
has a great white shark. 7. They Need A Lot of Space Many people visit aquariums hoping to catch
a glimpse of sharks up close. Especially the great white, but no exhibit
like this exists anywhere in the world. Since 1955, numerous attempts have been made
by aquariums to place great white sharks into captivity. Time and time again, however, the outcomes
have been unsuccessful, and it never turns out well for the shark. One of the main reasons for this is the great
white’s need for more space than an aquarium can provide. Great whites can weigh over 1,000 kilograms
and measure anywhere from 4-6 meters long. But we keep Orcas in captivity in small pools,
so why not a great white? Great white sharks are migratory open-water
fish. It’s not uncommon for great white sharks
to swim hundreds of kilometers in just a few days. Sharks that have been tagged by scientists
have been known to end up on the other side of the world. One shark that was being tracked by scientists
swam from Africa to Australia and back again in just nine months – a round trip amounting
to about 20,000 kilometers. Additionally, great whites must constantly
swim forward so water can pass through their gills – a necessary process for obtaining
oxygen that separates them from most other species of fish, who get their oxygen by opening
and closing their mouths. Constant swimming is also essential for maintaining
their body temperature. While swimming, great whites tend to only
change direction when they want to, further complicating the ability to confine one to
a tank. A massive tank would be necessary by default
due to their size. All factors taken into consideration, even
a standard whale tank would be too small to accommodate a great white. They seem kind of small for whales too.. In 2004, the Monterey Bay Aquarium attempted
to house a great white in a one million gallon, 35-foot deep tank, especially designed for
open water fish. They were required to use a small, 4-foot-long
shark, because even a tank of this size was inhospitable for a full-grown great white
shark, and it still ended badly, but I’ll tell you more about that in a bit. If an aquarium had a great white shark, would
you make an effort to go see it? Let us know in the comments!! 6. Captivity Causes Depression Marine biologists believe that because we
are unable to create a suitable artificial environment for great whites in captivity
causes them to become depressed. They aren’t at all happy with their new
environment. As you know, great whites are salt water creatures
and require a specific balance of saline in their tank water – something that is difficult
for aquariums to maintain accurately. This imbalance, along with the inevitable
lack of space provided by confinement, likely contribute to the tendency for great whites
to become depressed and lethargic. First they can barely move, and then, they
can’t even breathe properly. A depressed great white shark will stop eating
and become increasingly aggressive. In 1981, a great white was caught by a fisherman
and given to SeaWorld in San Diego. They put the 5-foot, 100 pound shark in a
400,000 gallon shark exhibit. The shark never ate on its own in captivity
and toward the end of its stay at SeaWorld, the shark experienced convulsions and had
difficulty swimming. Employees tried to save the shark’s life
by force-feeding mackerel to it and injecting it with nutrients. They also administered oxygen to the shark
and assisted it with swimming. Their attempts, however, were unsuccessful
and the shark passed away 16 days later. Biologists and researchers said they were
able to learn a lot about shark behaviour and medicine through this experience. It surpassed the previous record of another
great weight that only survived 96 hours. The Monterey Bay Aquarium acquired a great
white shark in 1984 – one of its numerous tries at exhibiting the apex predator. The shark died 11 days later because, like
many others, it refused to eat. The first time aquarium staff managed to get
a great white to feed in captivity was in 2004 at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They were able to keep her in a tank for 198
days, however, the shark was released into the wild because it became aggressive and
killed two of its tank mates. Not sure if you are supposed to keep a great
white in a tank with other sharks, it’s not like they enjoy the company… In Japan in early 2016, an 11-and-a-half foot
great white male that was accidentally caught in a net was placed at an aquarium. The aquarium proudly announced the world’s
first display of an adult great white shark. However, he died just three days later. He was put into in a tank with other sharks
and initially appeared to be doing well, but refused to eat and sank to the bottom of the
tank shortly thereafter. The inevitable stress caused by confinement
results in great whites becoming injured and suffering from starvation – symptoms that
ultimately lead to death. 5. They Injure Themselves A common behavior among great whites in captivity
is to ram their heads into the walls of their tanks. There are several theories for why this happens. Some scientists believe that being in a tank
disrupts the great white’s keen sense of electroreception, which allows them to sense
the electrical charges in the water around them, making it difficult for sharks to detect
the tank walls. They are used to an entire open ocean so a
small glass enclosure causes stress and makes it hard for them to use their senses. As I’m sure you can imagine, forcefully
swimming into tank glass causes injuries and puts the shark’s health at risk. Most, if not all great white sharks that have
died in captivity exhibited this behavior. For example, the great white that died in
Japan had been swimming and bumping into the walls of its tank. 4. It’s Expensive From the very first steps of capturing and
transporting a great white shark to keeping one in captivity, exhaustive resources are
required. When the Monterey Bay Aquarium was tasked
with transporting a 4-foot-long great white from Malibu to northern California in 2004,
a custom mobile tank had to be built. To keep the shark alive for the nine hour
drive, it essentially had to be put on life support and pumped with IV fluids. That’s a lot of money to spend on obtaining
a creature that has historically failed to thrive in captivity. Great whites are killers by nature. Because of their innate desire to hunt, they
refuse to be fed by humans. In fact, great whites in the wild will not
eat anything but live prey unless they’re close to starvation. While younger sharks target fish, they begin
to feed on mammals and larger creatures as they grow. Shark tanks would need to be continuously
stocked with live prey, which is far costlier than the dead fish most other aquarium inhabitants
are willing to eat. Also not sure if it would be good PR for the
aquarium to be feeding a shark a cute little live seal or something. People say they want that…but the reality
is probably a different case. The massive tank that would be required for
an aquarium to safely house a great white shark would have to be astronomically huge. And expensive. In fact, based on all of the failed attempts
by aquariums to exhibit great whites, one can infer that a “large enough” tank has
never been built. 3. Not Good For Viewing The introduction of a great white shark exhibit
would most likely result in many disappointed customers. A tank large enough to accommodate a great
white shark would be impractical in size, making it difficult for hopeful spectators
to catch a consistent, close view of the predator. It would probably be far off in the distance
somewhere. Moreover, because great whites feast on live
prey, aquarium visitors would inevitably be subjected to the unpleasant sight of one killing
and consuming its meals – if the staff were able to convince the shark to eat in the first
place. Speaking of unpleasant sights, the tendency
for great whites to swim into their tank walls causes visible injuries. When people visit aquariums and zoos, they
expect to see happy, healthy animals, but would most likely witness a great white shark
in an obvious state of discomfort. Knowing all of this, you might want to go
cage diving instead!! 2. They Do Not Survive in Captivity Generally, there are two possible outcomes
when a great white is placed in confinement: death or release back into the wild after
a short stint at an aquarium, usually refusing to eat and injuring itself. Let’s recap the unsuccessful attempts: The
first attempt at housing a great white was made by Marineland of the Pacific in 1955. Less than a day later, the shark was released
back into the ocean. Until 2004, the longest a great white was
able to survive in captivity was a mere 16 days, achieved by SeaWorld in 1981. The previous record was set in 1976, when
a shark survived at SeaWorld for 96 hours. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has made five total
attempts at exhibiting a great white – all of which have failed. In 1984, a shark died after 11 days there. In 2004, they released a shark after 6 months
because it killed 2 other sharks. The aquarium tried again in 2011 – the shark
was released after two months in captivity and died just minutes later. Then we have the case of the shark in Japan
in 2016 which died after 3 days. One of the reasons aquariums have tried repeatedly
to house great white sharks is the public demand for this kind of exhibit. It seems like even though everyone is so worried
about shark attacks, we still love seeing them up close and people want to learn more
about them. To cater to this demand, some scientists have
even attempted to breed a “version” of great white shark that is more adaptable to
tank life. However, those attempts have consistently
failed, signaling that great whites are simply not biologically programmed to survive in
captivity and that it’s not possible to condition them into coping better with the
constraints of an aquarium tank. 1. PUBLIC PERCEPTION IS CHANGING Information about the effects of confinement
on certain species has become more transparent and accessible than ever in recent years. Documentaries such as Blackfish and The Cove
have brought widespread attention to the inhumane nature of keeping marine life in captivity. Additionally, animal rights organizations
such as PETA and The Humane Society of the United States have increasingly spoken out
about the unnatural captivity of marine animals in recent years. Although public demand has influenced aquariums
to try to exhibit great white sharks, people are becoming less supportive as they learn
more about the harmful effects of captivity and the fact that they end up dying!! While some species handle confinement better
than others, the bottom line is that captivity raises valid ethical concerns about the well-being
of creatures that are meant to be in the wild. Great white sharks rank high among the variety
of animals that perpetually fail to thrive in captivity. They aren’t just uncomfortable, but otherwise
ok. They show clear displays of distress and people
really don’t want to see that. Even though we want to learn more and see
these amazing animals up close, we just can’t take them out of their environment because
they will not survive. As we as the public get more educated we want
to see happy and healthy animals and if they cannot be kept in an aquarium then so be it.

About the author


  1. well orcas die in sea world. it's better to not go to sea world please please please please don't go to sea world

  2. Sea world has joined the chat

    "Lets find out why."

    "They need a lot of space."


    Sea World has left the chat

  3. youtube recommendations in 2018 (year this video was made): No one needs to see this… YET

    youtube recommendations in 2019 (year after this video was made): Okay no ones paying attention to sharks let’s put this on everyone’s recommendations

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    Baby shark!
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    Mommy shark!
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    Daddy shark!
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    Grandma shark!
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    Grandpa shark!
    Let's go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo
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    Let's go hunt!
    Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo
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    Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo
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    It's the end!

  5. Most of these reasons are why no wild sea life should be kept in tanks… just because whales can be kept for a longer period of time than sharks doesn't mean they *should*.

  6. Except the Monterey Bay Aquarium had held several while the rehabilitate then. They've been doing it for years

  7. I think they should place great whites in aquariums for 1 week out the year or random days out the year so people can see them then afterwards put them back in the ocean letting people see them without holding them in captivity causing them to die

  8. I just hate aquariums full stop.

    Animals were not born to be put in cages and tanks for our entertainment! Just leave the animals alone! If they don’t bother you, don’t bother them

  9. You dummy the orcas are not ment to be there in the first place do you even know what your talking about do you know what captivity is

  10. Has any one ever thought that sharks can sense electricity and aquariums have a ton of electricity flowing through it imagine how that gets on there nerves

  11. All this focuses on the habitat for the shark but if I had to make my best educated guess I would say its the transit to the tanks that is killing them

  12. Imagine being put in a closet and being forced to stay there… what would you feel?

    That’s probably what Great White Sharks felt in captivity.

  13. Why do people insist putting animals in captivity. Killer whales are know to get depressed. And the only aggression shown by a killer whale to humans is in captivity.

  14. Lists 7 reasons Great Whites can't be kept in captivity – repeats the same reason in every single of the 7 reasons. SMH….

  15. Hi origin explained , where the previous same title of this videos??? Why is they removed?? I like the background music in it… I have downloaded it but I have lost it in my phone. Sory English not my first language.. please answer me Origins explained!! T.y

  16. Yeah, but Orcas also swim tousand of kilometers in the nature and need a lot of space and they are WAY more intelligent than sharks, but unfortunately we still keep them in captivity! 🙁

  17. Even a wild rabbit will not survive in captivity, so the Great White probably won't either.
    As I was watching this video, I was wondering instead putting the Great White in a aquarium, make a underwater dome where us human in a big glass bubble and watch the Great White that way.
    Truthfully, I rather see them that way…in the natural life.
    Also with Ocras, Whales, Dolpins, Seals and other things in the Ocean.
    If they already have a glass dome, build more.

  18. It’s protected. If it wasn’t someone would definitely keep one despite the cons. But they can’t because it’s a protected species. Just saved you 11 minutes

  19. I wish there was a hospital for sharks and other large animals so people could watch them get better and get released that’s right near the ocean. This makes me so sad for the animals 😭

  20. My aquarium had a great white shark . But that was because it was sick and they let it go after.

  21. I also don't think they know what there saying because it you watch shark week they feed a lot of great whites dead fish

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