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Tiger shark leaves Aquarium of the Pacific; white shark doing well at Monterey Bay Aquarium

September 23, 2009 | 11:18 am

A young white shark swims past a young visitor to Monterey Bay Aquarium's Outer Bay exhibit.

If you're planning to visit the new tiger shark at the Aquarium of the Pacific, you'll be interested to learn that the juvenile apex predator was transported from the Long Beach facility's Shark Lagoon to a different facility.

According to an Aquarium of the Pacific spokeswoman, the 5-foot-long female tiger shark -- the only captive tiger shark on the U.S. mainland -- had outgrown her exhibit area. The new facility apparently wishes to remain anonymous.

Meanwhile, the young great white shark on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is feeding heartily on mackerel and salmon while serving its role of getting visitors to the Outer Bay exhibit interested in sharks and shark conservation.

"The only downside is that she prefers staying in the bottom portion of the exhibit and often near the back wall -- not making big, impressive passes by the main Outer Bay window upstairs (though she occasionally swims past)," aquarium spokesman Ken Peterson said via e-mail. "We're hoping she'll be with us for several months." 

The seaside facility has tagged and released its three previous captive sharks after stays that varied in length -- the record was 200 days. The predators are then tracked, and data are collected from tags as part of a collaborative program designed to learn more about white shark movements and habits.

The aquarium's SeaNotes blog has lots of information about the resident white shark and sharks in general, including a link that everyone interested in conserving sharks should visit, as it enables citizens to take action in support of legislation that would help bring an end to the cruel practice of shark-finning.

Millions of sharks are killed each year merely for their fins, to satisfy a powerful demand for shark-fin soup. It's said to be a delicacy, but there's undeniably something fishy about the process.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: A young white shark swims past a young visitor to Monterey Bay Aquarium's Outer Bay exhibit. Credit: Randy Wilder / Monterey Bay Aquarium