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The white shark's rapid growth was a main factor in the decision to release her. The larger she grew, the more concerned staff become about the ability to safely handle her.
The shark was fitted with an archival satellite data tag that tracked her for 30 days, including depths she favored and water temperatures she preferred.
Data from the tag showed the shark survived and thrived after her release, traveling more than 100 miles offshore and to depths greater than 800 feet below the surface.
White Shark Tales
Spring 2005At the break of dawn on March 31, Aquarium staff release the world's first successfully exhibited white shark in the calm, coastal waters just south of Monterey Bay. Prior to release, biological samples are taken, and she is fitted with a 30-day archival satellite tag that tracks her movements. During her record-setting 198 days on exhibit, she grows from a length of 5 feet and a weight of 62 pounds to a length of 6-feet-4½ inches and a weight of 162 pounds.
The electronic tag, recovered on May 5 west of Point Arguello near Santa Barbara, logs the white shark's movements along the coast, the water temperatures she favors and the depths she reaches for 30 days after her release. It's clear she is hunting and feeding on her own.
The Aquarium begins a fourth field season of white shark research this summer, and attempts to bring another young shark back for exhibit. Through its ocean conservation policy initiatives, the Aquarium works with other institutions and state and federal agencies to develop policies and strategies to conserve great white sharks in California waters.