Interesting Shark Facts

Why Don’t Aquariums Have Great White Sharks

As kids, we all wanted to go into deep waters just to have a glimpse of the marine world and, in particular, to see the amazing world of sharks. Despite our luck, we didn’t have the opportunity to see the most impressive of all sharks, the great white shark. Now, this often comes into our mind, why don’t aquariums have great white sharks?

Sharks are impressive marine creatures and have been living in the world’s oceans for centuries. They are said to be here even before the trees and dinosaurs existed. With over 500 species found, there are yet many to be explored. However, the great white shark is among the most well-known types due to the fact that they are the top predators in the ocean, and they have an important role to play in keeping the balance in the ecosystem.

Present in all major oceans, the great white sharks are declared vulnerable species by IUCN. Despite that, they are not kept in captivity, whereas you see many other sharks in aquariums, no matter even their size.

As unexpected as it sounds, we need to look at the reasons why sharks aren’t kept in captivity at all. By understanding the reasons, we may find a way out. But, let’s see.

Why are there no great white sharks in aquariums?

Great white sharks are a famous species among all, and for good reasons. Notable for their size, they can grow up to 20 feet in length and weigh tons. High speed, intelligence, behavior, strength, and above all of that, the 6th sense, the great white shark, never fails to amaze people with its remarkable features. 

However, with all that, It is also the shark that attacks the most humans. The species is among the few rated as dangerous to humans. For these particular reasons, great white sharks are widely hunted and killed by humans, and due to this, the species population is declining.

Aquariums all over the world provide you the opportunity to learn about these marine creatures and the species that are widely misunderstood, but when it comes to great white sharks, they are not found in any aquarium.

There are quite a few reasons for this, and knowing those will help you understand why great whites are not kept in captivity.

Want to know why? Read out the points below.

  • Firstly, great white sharks are large size animals that dwell in open water. They love to travel around at any time they want with no boundaries. This, however, is not possible to provide in a confined environment. No matter how massive the aquarium is, you cannot match the size of any ocean.
  • Great white sharks are predatory hunters, and they prey on a wide variety of marine creatures. Thus, you need to pull in a great number of resources to keep a shark in detention.
  • Moreover, great white don’t like to be fed by humans as they are natural hunters and would like to have the thrill of hunting down their prey.
  • In addition, if you keep any other creatures alongside the great white, it will attack and kill them.
  • Transporting great white sharks itself requires a hell of an effort. Remember, they are dangerous and are likely to attack humans when provoked. For this reason, sharks get injuries most of the time when shifting from their natural habitat to the aquariums, which later on results in serious issues.
  • Do you know that the great white sharks have the ability to leap out of the water as high as 10 feet above the surface? This fact alone makes it hard to keep great white in captivity.
  • With all that, no great white sharks are there in the aquarium because if you keep them in custody, they will die in no time.

No matter how much effort you put in, no one would like to take the risk of keeping great white sharks in an aquarium owing to the fact that they won’t be able to make it for long, and you will lose a precious shark species forever.


You can’t suddenly change the environment of any living habitat and expect it to stay the same. There will be repercussions, of course, and some might not be able to make it, for example, the great white sharks. Aquariums don’t have great white sharks because they won’t be able to survive for long in a confined environment.

So, next time you visit an aquarium, don’t expect the great white sharks to be there. Blogs like these can help you learn about the species, and you may visit the oceans having the most sharks and experience sharks in their natural habitat.

About the author

Yumna Ahmad

An experienced content writer, photographer, and avid reader amazed by the sea world and its creatures. I am lettin people become fascinated with the ocean planet through my writings.