Guadalupe Island Great White White Shark Facts, Videos and Images

guadalupe island seal white shark cage diving food

Shark cage diving, it really is as thrilling as it looks! You have always wanted to experience the world’s top white shark cage diving destination at Guadalupe Island, and now you can – for less than you imagined. Face off with great white sharks this year on America’s Shark Boat, the MV Horizon. Since 2000 we have been pioneering shark cage diving, underwater shark photography, shark research, and Film and TV with sharks at this unique and pristine white shark location. We are your next shark diving adventure. Great ready for excitement and let’s go cage diving!

Guadalupe Island great white shark fact file

The mighty great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is often mistakenly thought of as the most voracious predator of the seas, and even has a reputation as a ferocious man-eater, something that sadly has been hugely exaggerated by the media. Their powerful body is supported by a cartilaginous skeleton (as opposed to the bone skeleton of most other vertebrates), is streamlined for efficient movement through the water, and has a pointed snout, two large, sickle-shaped pectoral fins and a large triangular first dorsal fin. The mouth is armed with an array of sharply pointed, serrated teeth; indeed the generic name is derived from the Greek word carcharos for ragged and odon for tooth. These sharks are grey or bronze on the upper surface of the body and are white underneath. They have an acute sense of smell and are able to sense electric fields through sensors in the snout.

Guadalupe Island great white shark biology

Despite its worldwide notoriety, very little is known about the natural ecology and behaviour of the great white shark. These sharks are usually solitary or occur in pairs, although it is apparently a social animal that can also be found in small aggregations of 10 or more, particularly around a carcass. Females are ovoviviparous; the pups hatch from eggs retained within their mother’s body, and she then gives birth to live young. Great white sharks are particularly slow-growing, late maturing and long-lived, with a small litter size and low reproductive capacity. Females do not reproduce until they reach about 4.5 to 5 metres in length, and litter sizes range from two to ten pups. The length of gestation is not known but estimated at between 12 and 18 months, and it is likely that these sharks only reproduce every two or three years. After birth, there is no maternal care, and despite their large size, survival of young is thought to be low.

Guadalupe Island great white shark threats

These sharks are sparsely distributed and have slow reproduction rates, factors making the population particularly vulnerable and slow to recover from depleted numbers. Although the population size is difficult to assess, evidence suggests that numbers have declined in several areas by up to 90 percent over the last 40 to 100 years. Sharks caught either accidentally as bycatch or deliberately targeted are sold for their flesh, skins, oil and fins for shark-fin soup. The teeth and jaws of great white sharks are particularly valuable; a recently recovered specimen was valued at US$ 50,000. Game fishing has increased in popularity recently and the great white shark is something of a holy grail for enthusiasts due to its great size, powerful resistance to capture, and reputation as the most dangerous fish in the sea. Unfortunately, its inquisitive nature and tendency to investigate human activities, as well as to scavenge from fishing gear, makes this shark vulnerable to capture. This species is often found close to human settlements and habitat degradation, depletion of prey species, negative attitudes towards the shark, and shark fences to protect bathers further effect population numbers. The great white shark is viewed with fear throughout much of its range, making conservation efforts difficult to initiate, and unwarranted, media-fanned campaigns to kill great whites have even occasionally occurred, following shark attacks or in anticipation of such attacks.

Guadalupe Island great white shark conservation

The great white shark is protected in South Africa, Namibia, Australia, the USA and Malta. The recent surge of interest in shark dives and ecotourism, especially in South Africa, southern Australia, and Guadalupe Island, Mexico, may provide a substantial local income and an important method of education. With effective legislation and policing, this tourist trade may well be a vital method of saving the species despite the complex issues involved. Vital research into this misunderstood fish is being carried out in countries such as Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA, and the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN) has prepared an International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-SHARKS). Indeed, recent scientific findings that great whites regularly undergo long-distance, trans-boundary movements only highlight the need for international protective measures, with national legislation being no guarantee of survival of the species. However, further information gained from ongoing studies into their movements and the specific habitats the sharks utilise will hopefully provide the basis for designing appropriate protection measures to aid the survival of this remarkable shark around the world.

Shark cage diving at Guadalupe Island

On America’s Shark Boat you’ll save $400 off any 2018 white shark dive charter with us. We have been pioneering shark diving on the West coast and are a trusted name in scuba diving since 1971. First to discover and explore Isla Guadalupe white sharks in 1999. Specializing in scuba adventures, spearfishing charters, white shark diving and specialized marine biology trips up to 14 days in length. Let’s go shark diving!