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My great white encounter

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
Well, not really an encounter, but I saw one.

My wife and I went up to Carmel Sunday through Tuesday to celebrate our
43rd anniversary and revisited the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see their
GWS. No previous GWS has survived over 16 days in captivity, and this one
has been there over 170 days and seems to be thriving.

Almost as interesting as seeing the shark is attending a presentation
where they tell the story of its capture and show photos. They say that
So Cal is a nursery area for these sharks and many new borns are taken
every year in nets. Last summer they positioned a giant holding pen net
off Santa Monica and put out the word that they wanted a shark. A halibut
netter caught this young female and notified them, and they had it
transferred into the pen within an hour. They kept it there for a few
days feeding it salmon filets to make sure it would eat, then put it in
their 3000 gallon "finnebago" truck and drove it up I-5 to Monterey.

It was just over 4 feet and 62 pounds when taken, and now is about 5 feet
and 80 to 90 pounds. Its in a tank with other sharks, tuna, and mahimahi
but has let them alone so far. They say that if it ever shows aggression
to the divers or other fish, they will let it go. If that happens while
its still relatively small, they will take it home to So Cal. If its
bigger, they will just give it a helo lift out into Monterey Bay where
it can entertain local divers and surfers.

The divers who clean the tank now work in teams of three wearing
stainless steel chain mail, and one of them carries a shark billy with a
padded end and covers the other two while they clean.

It was neat to see the shark from behind the safety of glass, but what
got my pacemaker really working hard were the big tuna. The largest
bluefin are about 300 pounds.

Here is a link to a live cam that works from 7AM to 7PM PST.


I'm told its really neat, but I can't seem to open it.

These photos are pretty bad since the light was poor and kids kept getting in the way, but at least you can see how fat the tuna are.


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  • Like
Reactions: Pablo
Bill you have made my day !
I got the web cam to work - what a great idea - I thought about making a 'bass-cam' for a place nearby but have yet to work out the details of putting one in the sea...
Still - so nice to see fish gliding around live.
Nice one Bill.
I am told it is pretty impressive, When I visited NC in 2004 with Tag-a Giant we were tagging tuna with some of the guys that run the MBA , real nice people that care a lot about tuna.
I would love to go to that aquarium, the only other aquarium I have visited that was really something was in Genoa in Italy ,and they didn't have a GWS or Tuna.

It really is a great place. Even though we have been there about three times in the past, there is still much to enjoy besides the GWS. Just the small tanks with exotic colorful jellyfish of different species are a thing to behold.

One of the neat things for a So Cal spearo has always been a tank with a lot of white sea bass and yellowtail, but unfortunately it is in a part of the building that is closed for construction of a major new project that will open in May.

If it doesn't quite raining here pretty soon, the aquarium may be the only place I'll see a white sea bass this year.
Well, duh! It's a GWS. What did anyone think it would do, turn vegetarian? So the next time Uncle Sven gets gnawed on by a GWS with a radio tag, he can take consolation that he'd been bit by a celebrity.
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