The Reason Great White Sharks Aren’t Kept In Captivity

If you’ve ever been to an aquarium that features a shark display, you may have noticed something: There’re never Great White Sharks living in captivity.

Now, if you have a fear of the massive ocean predators like many people do, you’re probably glad that Great White Sharks aren’t kept near the public, separated by just inches of glass.

Photo: Pexels/Valdemaras D.

However, the reason those sharks aren’t kept in aquariums has nothing to do with the fear they might cause people but is actually due to more complex reasons.

It’s true that some aquariums have attempted to house Great White Sharks in the past, but none have been successful. Monterey Bay Aquarium did once have juvenile white sharks on display for a matter of months, but they ended up killing tank mates and becoming injured. They eventually released the sharks and ended the program to keep them in captivity.

Other aquariums have attempted to house Great White Sharks, but the sharks either require too many resources or die too quickly.

Vox put together an informational video regarding Great White Sharks kept in captivity and in that video, they explained that Great White Sharks require ample space to swim around and those kept in captivity, even for a short amount of time, suffer and die.

Great White Sharks swim quickly and great distances. When confined to a small tank, they may become restless and run into the walls. Not only is it cruel, but it’s not conducive to life.

With Great White Sharks being listed as vulnerable, it’s important to protect them from cruelty and exploitation.

Photo: Unsplash/Oleksandr Sushko

Past attempts have made it clear that the species can’t thrive in a captive environment. It’s interesting that people still attempt it, but none have succeeded long-term.

Now the next time you visit an aquarium with a shark display, you’ll know just why there aren’t any Great Whites swimming around.

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