The Monterey Bay Aquarium developed a program with the support of colleagues from Stanford University, California State University Long Beach, and the Southern California Marine Institute to display young-of-the-year (YOY) White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), culminating in the display of five White Sharks in the 3.8-million-L Outer Bay exhibit between 2004 and 2009. The Outer Bay exhibit displays a variety of pelagic fishes, including Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares), Dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), and Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks (Sphyrna lewini) and is maintained at 20°C. Four of the White Sharks fed consistently while on display (70-198 d), eating mostly King Salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha), Pacific Mackerel (Scomber japonica), and Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) at a mean (±SE) daily ration of 747 ± 46 g or 1.62 ± 0.15% body mass d-1 (% BM d-1). One shark did not feed regularly and was released after 11 d. Daily ration peaked between 3.1 and 3.5% BM d-1, which is among the highest reported for any shark species. The captive White Sharks grew in mass at a rate of 71.6 ± 8.2 kg yrs.-1, yielding a mean gross conversion efficiency of 27.1 ± 3.8%. They grew at a mean rate of 64.9 ± 8.5 cm yrs.-1, approximately twice the growth rate estimated from a von Bertalanffy growth function for White Sharks (Cailliet et al., 1985). A simplified bioenergetics model was used to determine parameter estimates for consumption, growth, and metabolism. This model assumed that 27% of energy intake was lost to waste, and it suggested that a mean 26.8 ± 2.9% of energy intake was invested into somatic growth, and 46.2 ± 2.9% of energy was consumed by metabolism. YOY White Sharks showed high growth capacity at optimal conditions in captivity; however, the energetic demands of White Sharks in the wild remain unknown.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Environmental Science(all)