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White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) Photographs and Information

Also known as White Pointer, great white shark and White Death.

The great white shark is distributed widely in temperate and subtropical oceans throughout the northern and southern hemispheres, though it prefers temperate waters.

A streamlined, greyish-white body with white below.  It has a fairly straight back and unlike most other sharks, the upper lobe of the tail is not much larger than the lower.  It also lacks the pronounced extension of most other species which gives it great speed through the water.  A distinguishing feature is the large triangular and serrated teeth in both jaws.

It is the largest dangerous shark in the world.  It lives off the southern Australian coast, from southern Queensland round to Western Australia, but has not been recorded in Tasmanian waters.  It grows to a length of about 12 metres. It will eat almost anything, including seals, dolphins, other sharks and ships garbage.  A roamer of ocean waters, it is rarely seen in estuaries.  Neverless, it is a known man-eater. A shark with large, serrated triangular teeth, a crescent-shaped caudal fin, and minute second dorsal anal fins.

Body fusiform, moderately stout; caudal with distinct keel. Snout relatively short and bluntly conical. Teeth large, erect, triangular and serrated; relatively more slender in low jaw; juveniles less than 200 cm with more slender teeth (sometimes with lateral cusplets and lacking serrations on some cutting edges). First dorsal-fin origin over pectoral-fin inner margins. Second dorsal-fin origin in advance of anal-fin origin; second dorsal and anal fins minute. Caudal fin crescent-shaped, without a secondary keel below extension of caudal peduncle keel. Tooth count 23-28/21-25. Total vertebrae 172-187; pre-caudal 100-108.

Dorsal surface blue-grey to grey-brown, often bronzy; white ventrally; boundary between these tones is mostly abrupt. Ventral tips pectoral fins dusky; a dark spot may be present at the pectoral-fin axil.

Born at about 130 cm and attains 600 cm. Males mature at about 350 cm and females at about 400 cm.

Cosmopolitan but mostly anti-tropical in temperate seas. Probably throughout Australian waters, but more common in the southern Queensland to North West Cape (Western Australia). Normally found over the continental shelf and often close inshore; recorded from the surface to 1280 m.

Large adults feed mainly on seals, whales and dolphins, but also take fish and other sharks. Younger great white sharks feed mainly on fish. Females mature at 4.5 to 5 metres and attain greater lengths and weights than males, which mature at about 3.0 metres. Minimum ages at maturity have been estimated to be 11 years for females and nine years for males.

Did you know? A group of sharks is called a "shiver"

Did you know? A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes

White Shark

Map showing where WHITE SHARKS are found in Australian waters

Despite its high-profile media image, little is known of the biology or behavior of this shark. It appears to be relatively scarce to most other widely distributed species, being most frequently reported from south Africa, the Great Australian Bight, northern California and the north eastern United States. Like other mackerel sharks, it has a heat-exchanging circulatory system enabling it to maintain body temperatures higher than that of the surrounding seawater. Aspects of reproduction remain an enigma as only two pregnant females have been recorded in contemporary times. Presumably oviphagous, a pregnant female from Japan had 7 pups. The diet of specimens smaller than 300 cm consists mainly of a variety of teleost and elasmobranch fishes. Marine mammals comprise an important part of the diet of larger sharks. More attacks on humans, many of them fatal, have been attributed to the white shark than to any other aquatic animal. Occasionally used commercially for meat, fins, hide and oil.

Its weight alone makes it a top prize for game fishermen.  But it is now a protected species in Australia. See NSW Fisheries Announcement.

Scientific Name Carcharodon carcharias
Location Southern half of Australia
Season All year round
Size To 12 metres
Australian Species Code



Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Shark fillet.

Kilojoules 420 (100 calories)
Protein 21.2 g
Cholesterol 48 mg
Sodium 90 mg
Total fat (oil) 0.9 g
Saturated fat 27% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 20% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 53% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 17 mg
Omega-3, DHA 252 mg
Omega-6, AA 30 mg

Other Shark Links:


a GREAT WHITE SHARK nearly 20 feet long and weighing over 2000 pounts hooked by fishermen

A great white shark nearly 20 feet long and weighing 2,000 pounds was reportedly hooked by commercial fishermen in the Sea of Cortez in northwestern Mexico.

The massive catch, according to local reports by Milenio News, would be one of the longest great white sharks ever recorded if verified at a length 19.8 feet, or 6 meters.

The shark, which was dead when it was brought to the surface, was netted by fishermen named Guadalupe and Baltazar, according to reports.  Read more



International Shark Attack Files - How stats are gathered, the history of the file, how to report a shark attack and who to contact about the ISAF. Lots of information. Maps, graphs and reports based on statistics from the International Shark Attack File. Your risk of shark attack compared to your chances of getting bit by animals in NY City, hit by lightning, having an accident in your home, or being attacked by an alligator. Learn what the different types of attacks are, when and where they are most likely to occur.

Interesting Facts about Great White Sharks:

This information is from Getsmart Challenge - Great White Shark Quiz - How Stuff Works

They are the most notorious species of shark, boasting 3,000 jagged teeth and a bite that kills. Yet some scientists say our fear of great white sharks is irrational, the product of a bad reputation they believe is inaccurate. Where do great whites live? What do they eat? And is our fear of them really overboard?

Great white sharks are far and away the leading species when it comes to the number of shark attacks. As of May 2008, 238 unprovoked attacks and 95 boat attacks, resulting in 65 fatalities, have been officially recorded. This trounces the species with the second most attacks, the tiger shark, which has 88 recorded attacks.

Scientists who have studied the stomachs of great white sharks say that humans have far too much muscle content to be an ideal dinner for great whites. Sharks want fatty blubber from animals like seals when they feed, not muscle.

A great white's main prey is any type of pinniped, or aquatic carnivore. Seals and sea lions can be up to 50 percent fat, satisfying a shark's craving for blubber.

Great whites consume roughly 11 tons of food each year. To give you an idea of just how much grub this is, a 150-pound human eats about half a ton of food in the same amount of time.

Great whites usually use the underwater approach, lurking beneath the surface before coming within a few feet of their targets and attacking. When they attack using this method, great whites bring their head to the surface to bite their victim and then swim away and let it bleed to death.

The great white shark's scientific name, Carcharodon carcharias, means "ragged tooth" in Latin. Each great white has about 3,000 serrated teeth.

A typical great white weighs in at about 4,500 pounds and grows to a maximum length of about 20 feet. Great whites are the largest predatory fish in the sea, as the only bigger sharks feed on plankton and small fish.

You can't find great whites at your local aquarium because they're extremely difficult to keep in captivity, assuming they survive the capture and transport to an aquarium. Aquarium officials have had little success determining the food, water and type of tank necessary to accommodate a great white shark.

Great whites grow slowly and usually live about 30 years. Males reach maturity at about age 10, while females reach maturity at about age 15.


Cooking Shark:

Colour of Raw Fillet:



medium/firm, flaky.

Fat Content:


Flavour: Medium, sweet. Mild to moderate fishy flavour

Smaller sharks have sweet and delicious flesh, and are popular for their boneless and thick flakes. They have been commonly used for the traditional fish and chips but should not be overlooked for barbecuing, poaching, braising and baking. Marinate first in oil and lemon to tenderise the flesh.

Remove the skin before cooking, particularly when barbecuing, to prevent it shrinking and tearing the flesh.

Excellent for soups, shark is most popularly used in Asian-style shark fin soup and can also be successfully combined with crab meat. The texture of shark also makes it a great ingredient for fish cakes or kebabs.

Make good use of the firm flesh and enhance the flavour by cooking slowly with strong tomato and herb sauce.

Ammonia odour in shark flesh can be reduced by soaking it in milk, vinegar and water or lemon juice. However, if ammonia odours are detected, it is advisable to reject the product.

Shark Recipes:
Mako Shark with Pineapple Salsa - Mako shark fillets with a pineapple, lime, red onion, mint, cilantro salsa

Marinated Shark Steaks - Shark marinated in soy sauce, rice wine, lemon juice, parsley, garlic and minced green onions.

Shark Salad - Carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, green peppers and Italian salad dressing over lettuce.

Shark Steaks Au Poivre - Shark steaks with a brandy and pepper cream sauce.

Commercial Fishing for Shark:

Processors of Shark  |  Exporters of Shark  |  Importers of Shark  |
Wholesale Suppliers of Shark  |  Seafood Agents for Shark

More links about Sharks:


White Shark Tagging

Scientists have been studying white sharks at the Farallon Islands for more than 20 years, originally using visual observations and photography, and then using electronic tag technologies.  The sharks arrive each fall at the islands to feed on the seals and sea lions that haul out there. Seals have a thick blubber layer, providing a rich food source for white sharks. To tag the white sharks, researchers first attract the sharks using a seal-shaped floating decoy which is drifting behind a small boat. As the shark approaches, the decoy is drawn alongside the boat and the researcher attaches the tag to the shark as it swims by. The tag may remain attached for up to a year recording data about the depth, temperature and location. At a pre-programmed date, the tag is released from the shark and the data are transmitted via satellite back to the laboratory where they are analyzed. These studies have revealed that white sharks travel much more extensively that was previously imagined. White sharks from the Farallones routinely journey as far as the Hawaiian Islands and back in a single year. They also yielded another surprise, in that many white sharks spend a significant portion of the year in an area about halfway between Hawaii and the North American Continent, in what has come to be known as the “White Shark Café.” To date scientists have not determined whether white sharks go to the café to eat or find mates (or both). This is one of the many mysteries about this fascinating animal. This information is from The Tuna Research and Conservation Center




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