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BIODIVERSITYGreat White Sharks Enter Asia’s Warmer Oceans Due to Climate Change

Maureen SantosMarch 25, 20195157 min

Climate change is heating up the oceans giving great white sharks the perfect conditions to thrive. Could this perhaps be the reason why these massive ocean predators have taken a detour for finding food and breeding grounds?

Great white sharks, also known as the white pointer or white death are usually found in the waters of Australia, California, Coastal East Africa, the Galápagos, Mexico, and Southern Chile. However, there have been reports of sightings of these fearsome sea creatures lurking in Asian waters.

A pregnant great white shark was caught off of the waters of Taiwan. (YouTube)

On Wednesday, March 20, a gigantic great white shark, that was later found to be pregnant with 14 pups, was caught off of Taiwan’s northeast coast.

A Yilan fisherman caught the mother shark in Dong’ao Bay which measured 4.2 meters long and weighed 1,170 kilograms. It was sold at the Nan-fang-ao Fishing Harbor auction Su’ao Township, Yilan County. Fish market auctioneer Chen Chin-tsai purchased the captured great white shark for NT$58,500 (US$1,898) or NT$50 per kilogram.

14 great white pups found in the belly of its captured mother. (YouTube)

It was only discovered that the shark was pregnant when its belly was opened with 14 fully-grown pups inside. It will be moved to the Taiwan Oceanic Artistic Museum to be preserved for public viewing and research purposes.

The Philippines which has a warm and temperate climate was also visited by a huge great white shark. The marine animal was spotted by tourists on January 23, 2018, in Barangay Lobbot in Dipaculao, Aurora. The dead ocean predator measured 16.9 feet or 5.15 meters long.

Great white shark found in Aurora, Philippines. (YouTube)

According to the non-government organization, Marine Wildlife, the country’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources found no major wounds on the shark carcass.

The Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines noted that this is not the initial documentation of the marine species in the country. However, it would be the first photos taken of the female great white shark sighted in the Philippines.

The built of a great white shark is strong and elongated. Generally, it measures 4-7 meters long but the average is 6 meters. It weighs between 3,000 and 3,400 kilograms. Adult females grow bigger than males which are typically 2 meters smaller.

The great white shark displays discoloration of the body. The back is gray or blue in color but the lower area is lighter. This feature provides the top-of-the-food-chain predator the ability to hunt without being noticed. Preys will not be able to distinguish its attacker’s figure due to the confusion with the bottom of the ocean.    

It has an exceptional sense of smell that identifies prey from a faraway distance. The Lorenzini ampoules, also known as electroreceptors, make them efficient hunters of moving animals. Great white sharks hunt both day and night and jump out of the water (breach) to catch their prey. This technique usually applies to unsuspecting sea lions being attacked from below by a torpedoing shark.

Great white sharks are not usually hostile with their own species unless they feel threatened. They could bite their nemesis as a warning to not provoke them.

Deep Blue is perhaps the world’s largest great white shark ever filmed measuring more than 20 feet or 6.1 meters long. The gentle creature was spotted in the waters of Hawaii in January of this year. Divers had the luck and the privilege to swim, film, and take photos of the pregnant predator without getting harmed.

 

Maureen Santos

She lets everyone become aware of what is happening to our beloved planet Earth and its inhabitants. She can take you beyond the space and find out how neighbor planets are doing. Moreover, she would open your eyes to the things what makes the Earth suffer including the living species and allow you to decide what you can do to help save the planet and the future generation.

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