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The white shark is widely distributed, and located throughout temperate and sub-tropical regions in the northern and southern hemispheres. It is primarily found in the coastal and offshore areas of the continental and insular shelves and offshore continental islands with seal colonies.

 The white shark is capable of swimming long distances, over long periods. These movements include coastal return migrations and the fastest known transoceanic return migration among swimming fauna (South Africa to Australia).

Little is known about the reproductive rate and behavior of the species. The great white shark may have an unusually low fecundity rate for elasmobranchs, and a long gestation period. There have been reports of embryos and pregnant or postpartum white sharks from New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Japan and the Mediterranean Sea. This indicates that parturition probably occurs in a wide range of mostly temperate locations worldwide.

Great white shark females do not reproduce before reaching 4.5 – 5.0 m in length, and have a relatively small litter of around two to fourteen pups. It is thought that they do not reproduce every year, and that their gestation time is longer than 12 months. All these reproductive characteristics make them highly vulnerable to exploitation.

Available data on absolute or total population numbers for the Great white shark is extremely limited. Evidence from beach netting, game fishing and commercial captures all reporting declining captures of the white shark indicates that the population of the species is in decline.

The white shark is protected in national waters of South Africa, Namibia, the Eastern United States coastline and California, Australia, Malta and recently in Mexico. On an international level, white sharks are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (vulnerable category) and on CITES Appendix III.  Unfortunately most of these agreements have failed to provide the white shark with the necessary protection because they are only accepted on the signatory countries.

- There is good neurological and behavioral evidence to suggest that this species' scent tracking ability is exceptional. Fourteen percent of the White Shark's total brain mass is composed of the olfactory bulbs.

- A female Great White Shark was tagged with a satellite tag in South Africa and it travelled in 99 days to a location 2 km from shore and 37 km south of the Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia (about 11,000 km from the tagging site).

- They can survive for as long as 45 days on 60 pounds of seal fat.

©2009 Great White Shark Project - Designed by: mares.pro