Great White Shark Facts at Guadalupe Island
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.
White Shark Biology Guadalupe Island
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.
White Shark Conservation Around The World
The great white shark is now fully protected in Mexico, South Africa, Namibia, Australia, the USA and Malta. The recent surge of interest in shark dives and ecotourism, especially at Guadalupe Island, South Africa, southern Australia, 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.
Cage Dive With Great Whites at Guadalupe Island
What do you know about great white sharks in Mexico? America’s Shark Boat has compiled some fintastic information on the world’s top predators so you can dive with confidence on your next expedition to Guadalupe Island.
On America’s Shark Boat you’ll save $200 off any 2019 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 Guadalupe Island 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!