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Great white shark on display at California aquarium; viewers also can see creature on webcam
MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) ' A great white shark caught in the waters off Southern California is on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where it can be viewed in person or via a live webcam.
Marine scientists hope the new addition will inspire visitors to support ocean conservation.
Aquarium officials say the 4-foot, 7-inch male shark was transferred from Malibu to Monterey and placed in the aquarium's Open Sea exhibit Wednesday night. They hope to keep it on display for the next several months.
It's the sixth time Monterey Bay has exhibited a young great white shark. All the previous sharks have been returned to the wild.
Aquarium officials say they caught this shark Aug. 18 in the waters near Marina del Rey. Before its transfer, the shark was kept in a holding pen in Malibu, where it was observed swimming comfortably and eating.
Wild shark populations are in decline worldwide, says the aquarium. Fishing and the slow reproduction of white sharks, in addition to threats from trophy hunters and others, have taken a toll.
The creatures are protected in U.S. coastal waters, as well as in South Africa, Mexico, Australia and other countries.
Great white sharks are known for their size, with the largest adults measuring more than 20 feet long and weighing around 5,000 pounds. They are among the primary predators of marine mammals but also prey on fish and seabirds.
Julie Packard, the aquarium's executive director, said the exhibit of a female white shark in 2004 was extremely successful.
She said more than 1 million people viewed the shark while it was in captivity. Surveys taken after their experience showed that people took away a deeper understanding of the dangers facing white sharks and the ocean in general.
Live webcam of shark tank, http://bit.ly/qJOtGR