Oceanic Whitetip Shark Carcharhinus longimanus (Poey, 1861) in Captivity

Thanks to Jerry Crow, Manny Ezcurra, Alan Henningsen, and Dave Wertfor information.

Photograph Aquarium and Details TL (m)
M (kg)
Sex Time in captivity

Waikiki Aquarium. Contact Jerry Crow.
Captured by National Marine Fisheries Service about 10oN of Equator. Neonate male (free swimming with almost healed umbilical scar) placed in the 20' diameter tank on 21 Sept 1992. Ate squid the next day. Shark had some abrasion on rostral area. This abrasion was severe enough that it was decided to transport the shark to the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and observe the sharks behavior there. The shark did extremely well in the lagoon although the rostrum never completely healed. The shark was found dead on 10 Jan 1994 and weighed 4.5 kg.

M 1.3 y

Coral World Bahamas (Contact Dave Wert, Curator at "Atlantis" Resort in Nassau, Bahamas)
A male specimen was caught in May 1989 off the western end of Nassau Bahamas at a Ocean buoy and placed in a recirculating live box on the boat and transported for 1.5 hours back to Coral World. He stayed almost motionless during transport and arrived in good condition. Upon introduction to the tank, he swam immediately and did not need to be "walked". The exhibit tank (~200'000 gallons) was a doughnut configuration with several Caribeean reef shark (C. perezi) and several large nurse sharks (G. cirratum). He started eating squid and fresh fish within a couple of days. After several months in captivity he would only eat large Illex squid and would refuse all other offerings. After a year in captivity he began to rub the tank walls with his large pectoral fins which became infected and never healed. This condition became worse and he was released in Oct. 1990.

~1.2 M Released after 1.4 y
  Jakarta Aquarium, Indonesia (Contact Suzanne Gendron now at Hongkong OceanPark)
Two ~1.0 m TL specimens were caught near Sri Lanka and transported in a large live well where they could swim during 2-day transport to Jakarta. The boat docked near the Aquarium to minimize time in standard shark box. Both were kept until they reached about 1.5 m TL and died for unknown reason as far as I know.
ClNewsletter.jpg Monterey Bay Aquarium. Caught in Oct. 2000 off Baja California (TL over-the-curve 1.59 m; PCL OTC= 1.15 m, M = 22 kg when measured after arrival at MBA). Additional information in The Times Advertising Supplement and Monterey Herald.
Died of a bacterial infection on 22 Dec 2003 (TL = 1.90 m, TOT = 1.97, FL = 1.54, PCL = 1.39, M = 38.0 kg; 42.2 kg a week earlier when more antibiotics were given).


Fem 3.2 yr
Photograph Aquarium and Details TL (m)
M (kg)
Sex Time in captivity

Created February 2002, revised June 2007. Back to previous page
Please send comments or corrections to henry@elasmollet.org