Monterey Bay's Great white shark caught after release


A white shark has been caught and released by a commercial fisherman, just four days after it was released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The young shark was tagged and returned to the wild after eating only once during its eleven-day stay in the aquarium.

Despite a hectic two weeks, the fisherman reported the white shark to be in excellent condition.

The young female white shark was caught in Santa Monica Bay, Florida, destined to go on display in the Monterey Bay Aquarium's 3.8-million litre ~Outer Bay exhibit until March.

However, aquarists struggled to encourage the shark " measuring 1.4m (4.5ft) in length " to feed during its first eleven days at the aquarium, and a decision was made for it to be released early.

These decisions are always governed by our concern for the health and well-being of these animals under our care, said Jon Hoech, director of husbandry at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. On Saturday, it became clear that it was time to release her.

But only four days later " and just 22 miles away from its release site in the Santa Barbara Channel " the aquariums former resident got its tail caught in a net set by a commercial fisherman to catch thresher sharks.

The fisherman immediately contacted the Monterey Bay Aquariums white shark conservation rapid-response team for advice.

From the description the fisherman gave us, she s in excellent condition, said Jon Hoech, He checked her body and eyes for any injuries, and set her free.

Positively, the fisherman also reported that from the appearance of her belly, it looked as if she had recently fed.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium holds an excellent record with white sharks " successfully maintaining all three of their previous specimens for between four and six months before release. No other aquarium has managed to exhibit one for more than 16 days.

The released white shark " like its predecessors " has been fitted with a tracking tag, which will log vital information such as water temperature, depth and location that could aid future conservation of the species.

Due to the redevelopment of displays, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will not be able to keep another white shark until 2011.