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Great white shark sheds tag prematurely, presumed alive and well

November 4, 2008 | 12:25 pm


Above is a photo of a young great white shark that spent 11 days in captivity at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Below is a chart showing the female shark's wayward wanderings after its release in the Santa Barbara Channel on Sept. 7.

Its tag was set to report to scientists at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in five months, but it popped free prematurely on Oct. 8 at 6 a.m..

It was recovered near the backside of San Miguel Island on Oct. 23.

"The map of data from the tag shows the shark spent its whole time after release around the Channel Islands," reports Ken Peterson, a spokesman for the aquarium. "All data from the tag show normal swimming and diving pattern up to the moment of release -- no sign of mortality of the shark as a cause for the premature release."

If the shark is alive, it may be traveling south to warmer water. The last white shark the aquarium held swam around the Baja California peninsula into the Sea of Cortez, where it remained until its tag life expired.

--Pete Thomas


Photo credit: Randy Wilder / Monterey Bay Aquarium