A Japanese aquarium that claimed to have the world’s only captive great white shark is suffering a backlash after the creature died following just three days on display.
The shark was caught accidentally in a net on Tuesday of last week off Japan’s south-west coast, before being showcased at Okinawa Churaumi aquarium.
The 3.5 metre shark was thought to be doing well, but sank to the bottom of its tank on Friday having not eaten since its capture, and failing to respond to receiving oxygen in a separate tank.
Renowned activist group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals AKA PETA, have been quick to voice their criticism of the shark’s display.
Peta’s vice-president of international campaigns, Jason Baker, said:
The cause of death is clear: captivity. The shark never had to die like this.
But according to The Guardian, a researcher for the aquarium has claimed they abide by both international and Japanese laws in their effort to contribute to education and science.
Keiichi Sato said:
Many visitors had asked us to exhibit the great white shark.
Due to their large size and need to constantly swim, great white’s require large tanks that most aquariums aren’t equipped for, hence why they are not commonly found in captivity.
If the capture was accidental why not just release the apex predator back to the ocean?