White Shark Summary Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)

More on white shark in the 'Dive the big Five' page, first shark. Summary of great white shark ancestry by Jim Bourdon. Summary of white sharks in captivity Preliminary demographic analysis
Mollet et al. 1996 on 'KANGA' and 'MALTA' (3.4 MB PDF). Dyer Island White Shark Slide Show How do you tell apart a white shark embryo from a shortfin mako embryo? Download PDF of Mollet, Testi, Compagno, and Francis (2002) to find out. Litters and Estimate of Gestation Period
 Learn more about reproductive biology of shortfin mako and white shark (in the discussion) and download PDF of Mollet, Cliff, Pratt, and Stevens (2000). Italian great white shark data bank 1985 Biology of the White Shark symposium. (PDF 4.6 MB)  White Shark Slide Show
White shark morphometrics; Download Mollet and Cailliet (1996) as PDF (2.8 MB).   Wildlife Conservation Society: South Africa : Great White Shark Conservation Wildlife Conservation Society: Collaborative Satellite Tagging Programme

Photograph No. TL (m) M (kg) Sex Capture Location Cap.
Cc_images/SmallWhiteShark.jpg New 1.22 12.7 M Long Island
  Francis 1996 (p. 169: Wes Pratt pers. communication; not 41 nor 47 inches, 1.22 m would be 48 inches)
  New 1.22   F BHB BHB Hubbell (1996, Table II)
  New 1.24   M RC81487 RC81487 Hubbell (1996, Table II)
  01 1.261;
1.025 PCL
  M Los Angeles CA, USA 18 Jun 1985 LACM 43804-1; J. Seigel 1994 pers. comm.
  New 1.27;
1.17 FL
14.5   Net off South Australia Mar-Apr 1994 Malcolm et al. 2001
Cc_images/gw-russ9a-300x195.jpg New 1.3     Popov Island in the ‘Peter the Great Gulf, Russia reported on 13. Oct 2011 The specimen was caught off Popov Island in the ‘Peter the Great Gulf’. A local scientist says that the capture of the newborn shark indicates that these waters serve as pupping and nursery grounds for the great white shark. Jaw photograph.
Thanks to Victor Lin for URL.
  New 1.3     Net off NSW? 1974 Malcolm et al. 2001
  New 1.35   M BH71087 BH71087 Hubbell (1996, Table II)
Cc_images/Smith1951.jpg New 1.4     Eastern Cape, South Africa <1951 J.L.B. Smith (1951) described a 140 cm neonate caught off Algoa Bay in 20 fathoms deep water. Two of its teeth are also shown on the far left of plate 8 in Bass et al. (1975) IR #39 (I've added the letter A which was apparently missing on the original plate). Scale bar does not apply to these two teeth.
Cc_images/CcHubbell1996Fig3.jpg New 1.42   M BH71590   Photo shows Fig. 3 in Hubbell (1996).
Figure 3. Front row teeth, labial view, from a 142 cm TL male white shark, showing lateral cusplets, narrow teeth, and, in the first lower anterior, lack of serrations.
  New 1.46   M CA8564 CA8564 Hubbell (1996, Table II)
Cc_images/image001.jpg New 1.46     Wanda Beach near Sydney 1982 Caught south of Sydney, near Wanda Beach.in 1982. Was donated to the Australian Museum. Simon De Marchi personal communication.
Cc_images/CcMBA2004_01.jpg New ~1.41 from ~1.5 TL OTC; 1.35 FL OTC 28 F Off Huntington Beach CA, USA 20 Aug 2004 Caught as by-catch in halibut gillnet, transferred to ocean pen off Malibu and transported to MBA on 14 Sep 2004. My estimate of age at capture is 1-3 months, thus birth date between May 20 - July 20, 2004.
Cc09_01.jpg 09 1.54   M Bodega Bay CA, USA; taken alive 10 Sep 1984 MBA#1, MLML#31; Mollet et al. 1996
Cc_images/CcFromDave.jpg New ~1.6     off Bird Island, Eastern Cape, SA 15 Dec 1989 Caught by a ski boat angler. Area is known to have neonate white sharks seasonally.
  New ~1.63 from 1.74 TL OTC;
1.53 FL OTC
47 M Santa Monica Bay, CA USA 17 Aug 2006 Caught by Joe Welsch on rod and reel using Bonito bait.
Second Young White Shark on Exhibit.
Cc21_01.jpg 21 1.831 74 M 18 m off Darien GA, USA 06 Jan 1994 G. Burgess 1995 pers. comm.
Cc28_01.jpg 28 1.967   F SW off Cape Lockout NC, USA 18 Apr 1974 G. Burgess 1995 pers. comm.
Cc_images/Bassetal1975wText.jpg New 2.3     Natal, South Africa <1975 Bass et al. (1975) IR #39 included tooth set of 230 cm specimen from Natal, South Africa. Plate # 8 with scale bar. Teeth on far left belong to 140 cm neonate without scale bar.
Cc56_01.jpg 56 3.790 499 M Marathon FL, USA 23 Apr 1992 J. Castro and G. Hubbell 1995 pers. comms.
Cc_images/SeaWorldDisplay.jpg New 3.86
1375 lbs
F 5 miles NE of Catalina Island, CA 24 June, 1975 From Andrew Sprott: The shark (TL = 8'8") was a female and weighed 1,375lbs. It was caught 5 miles northeast of Catalina Island, on June 24th 1975. The stomach contents had the remains of two harbor seals (weighed approx 150 lbs (68 kg) each). This shark was displayed at Sea World San Diego from 1975 to 1976 when it was replaced by the 18 1/2" GWS (see below).
Photo credit to Alan Lyngholm from San Diego.
Cc60_01.jpg 60 3.91 536 F 200 km west of Fort Myers FL, USA 22 Feb 1994 M. Mitchell 1994 pers. comm.
CcMB032.jpg New 4.33 722 F Morro Bay CA, USA; Slide show of arrival in Santa Cruz 24 Nov 2000 ~9 AM Photo List I for Morro Bay Great White Shark generated by C.R. Davis and D.B. Harris
GB9-10_72.JPG New 2-4+     Dyer Island, about 7 km west of Gans Bay SA 09 Jun 2001 Dyer Island White Shark Slide Show. On June 9, 2001 we saw 12 white sharks between 2-4 m TL at Dyer Island. (slide 1 shows a map, followed by 17 slides of action)
Cc_images/stm-pic014.jpg New ~4   F (from photo) Simon's Bay, South Africa 1922 Robert "Taps" Lankester, coxswain of the port boat. His three assistants are Doolie Slarmie, Imam Achmat Baker and Fred Beukes. The Great White shark was caught in Simon's Bay, South Africa, in 1922.
Thanks to Bill Bridges for URL.
Cc_images/group.jpg New ~ 4.5   M Ceduna, South Australia 1977 Kostas Bambakas pers. comm.
Cc_images/YakutatWhiteShark2003.jpg New 4 to 5     Yakutat, Alaska USA Oct 2003 Photo of teeth used for length guesstimate by source to be identified.
Cc_images/Cc1985SantaCruzIsland.jpg New ~4.57 (~15")     Off Santa Cruz Island, CA, USA Sep 1985

Thanks to Victor Lin for newspaper clipping.
Santa Barbara commercial fisherman Bruce Brammel land a 15-foot-long great white shark Monday while drift-netting for swordfish off Smuggler's Cove at Santa Cruz Island. Brammer reportedly struggled two hours to board the shark, which was snapping as it hit the deck. Harbormaster Julie Hazard said a shark of this size is caught here every few year. Although great white are native to California's cold waters, the shark usually aren't off santa Barbara because they generally remain in deeper seas, a marine expert said. Most large specimens are found north of Point Conception.

Cc_images/1053320_861835.jpg New 4.66 755   JainSu County, China 18 Apr 2006 From Victor Lin: A white shark was caught at JainSu County, China on April 18, 2006. It was 4.66 meters long and weighed 755kg.
<a href="Richards_Bay/MVC-785F.jpg"><img src="Richards_Bay/MVC-785F.jpg" width="100" height="66" border="1"></a> New 4.69 1160 F;

6 km north of Richards Bay SA on experimental baited line

Zululand Observer

06 Feb 2002 Synopsis of the dissection (19 Feb 2002 elasmo-l posting by Geremy Cliff): Dissection date: 14 February 2002 Total length: 4.69 m (tail in natural position), Fork length: 4.23 m, Precaudal length: 3.80 m, Mass: 1160 kg, Liver mass: 270 kg (HSI 23.3%);
Sexual state: Virgin, approaching sexual maturity;
Stomach contents: digested remains of a small dolphin;
Ovary mass: 838 g (GSI 0.072%) (right ovary; no left ovary discernible), Ovum diameter: numerous 3-4 mm clear oocytes were present;
Uterus width: 41 mm (UWI 0.87%) (at the widest point);
Shark condition: Fair (livers started to ooze oil; epigonal organs breaking up).
Cc_images/Korea4_7m_800kg.jpg New 4.7 800 ? Off Korea 10 Aug 2009 In 2009, for the first time, there are sevaral reports of captures off Korea. An old fisherman caught a 4.7m, 800 kg white shark on Aug.10, 2009. On the same day, a 5.45 m white shark was found stranded on the beach, and died one hour after it was found (see below). Thanks to Victor Lin for information.
Cc_images/Korea27Mar2009.jpg New 4.4-4.7 1500? ? Off Korea 27 March 2009 In 2009, for the first time, there are sevaral reports of captures off Korea. This white shark (4.4 m) was later reported to have measured 4.7 m with capture date 29 Mar 2009.. Thanks go to Victor Lin for information.
Cc_images/SaltSports_Page90.jpg New 4.72 1320
(2909 lbs)
  off Rhode Island, USA 27 Jul 1991 Caught by Joe Pagano and Steve Daniels.
Victor Lin personal communication.
More details here.
Cc_images/NZ476WhiteShark.jpg New 4.76 1628 F;
Off Port Waikato (north of Raglan), North Island NZ 19 Oct 2005

Thank for info and photos go to Julian Brook. Caught in commercial set-net off the coast of Raglan, North Island, New Zealand.
Stomach contained the remains of 90kg fur seal. Jaw photo.
NZ Herald article.
Necroposy was done by Clinton Duffy and Silver Bishop: It was an immature female and weighed 1628 kg (reconstructed weight – jaws and fins had been removed by the fishers and were weighed separately).

Cc70_01.jpg 70 4.79   F Davenport CA, USA 06 Oct 1982 MLML#31; Mollet et al. 1996
    4.80   F;
Mature, but did not yet have 1st litter?
South Africa   Uterine width index (UWI) = 2.1% (Mollet et al. 2000; on reproductive biology of the female shortfin mako with discussion of maturity of white shark in discussion). Mature but did not yet have her 1st litter?
Cc_images/20051026ChangedID.jpg New 4.8     Chidori Canal, Yako district of Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki Japan Oct 26, 2005 KAWASAKI -- A 4.8-meter-long great white shark was found floating in a canal here Wednesday morning, local government and police officials said. At around 10 a.m., a factory worker found the shark floating in the Chidori Canal near his workplace in the Yako district of Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki, and alerted the local government, according to officials. A company commissioned by the Kawasaki Municipal Government used a crane to recover the dead shark. The municipal government's port and harbor bureau and local police said the 4.8-meter-long shark is believed to be a great white shark, and had been alive shortly before it was found. The canal is located in a waterfront industrial district near the Port of Kawasaki and is about 100 meters wide. "We've never heard of a shark near here. I'm surprised to learn that sharks are living in the Port of Kawasaki," said an official of the city's port and harbor bureau. (Mainichi).
Info and photo from Victor Lin.
  New 4.9   F;
South Africa   Uterine width index (UWI) = 1.6% (Mollet et al. 2000; on reproductive biology of the female shortfin mako with discussion of maturity of white shark in discussion).
Cc_images/CcVietnamFeb2010.jpg New ~5 ~1000   Quy Nhon City, Vietnam 04 Feb 2010 VietNamNet Bridge – A shark of one tonne in weight was caught on February 4, near the beach where ten people were recently attacked in Quy Nhon city, the central province of Binh Dinh.
Thanks to Luis Kmentt and Helmut Nickel for information.
Cc_images/PortPirieAug62004_01.jpg New ~5 ~1500 F Port Pirie, Southern Australia 06 Aug 2004

A GW caught by a fisherman in Port Pirie, Southern Australia on Aug 6, 2004.Victor Lin p.c. Australian biologists will soon report if this female was immature or mature.

Cc_images/ing237089.jpg New ~5
1550 (3417 lbs) F off Albany, Western Australia 1976 Thanks to Scott Mierzwiak for photos and the following detailed information:
This 3,417- pound female great white shark was caught by Clive Green in 1976, off Albany, Western Australia. The shark was between 16 and 17 feet long, just over 10 feet around, and it took Mr. Green 4 hours and 45 minutes to reel her in close enough to the boat to get the first gaff hooks in her. This was a world record attempt for the largest fish ever caught on rod & line, but it was diqualified by the International Game Fish Association because marine mammal bait was used, which is against IGFA rules and regulations. This shark was just 10 pounds lighter than the largest fish ever caught on rod and line, a 3,427 pound male, which was caught in 1986, by Frank Mundus and Donnie Braddick, another fish which was also disqualified because of marine mammal bait. The recognized record by the IGFA is a 2,664 pound shark, which was caught by Alf Dean, in 1959. Dean's fish was caught using marine mammal bait too, but as this was before the rule regarding the use of such bait, Dean's catch was allowed to stand as a record.
Photo of largest upper tooth.
Cc_images/1268635798.jpg New ~5? 1300?   off ChinDhou, ShanDong Province of China 12 Jun 2007 According to the website, the shark was"less than 8 meters long and weighed 2500kg with eyes as big as eggs and with one-meter-long fin. However, judging from the picture it's more likely slightly longer than 5 meters and weighed around 1300kg.
Victor Lin personal communication.
Cc_images/GWAzores1978.jpg New 5-6
est. form P1A
    Off San Miguel Island, Azores July 1978 Fig. caption in Ellis and McCosker (1991) says: "The 29.5 feet (9 m) initially accorded this Azorean shark eventually proved to be a wild exaggeration." Thanks to Helmut Nickel for jpg.
  New ~5+     Bluefish Cove, Pt. Lobos State Park Ca 30 Jun 1995 A report of a shark attack on Marco Flagg, lucky to be able to tell the story. Wounds on arms and legs were 51-76 cm apart depending on position of the arm. I estimated TL assuming MOW = 51 cm.
Cc_images/alfdean266419591610.jpg New ~5.1;
1208   Off Ceduna, Australia 21 Apr 1959 Alf Dean's rod and reel record 16'10", 1208 kg. Victor Lin p.c. Larger white sharks were caught on rod and reel but records were disallowed by IGFA because of new regulation disallowing use of mammal bait. See above information by Scott Mierzwiak for fish with TL = ~5 (16-17 feet).
Uchida&Francis/Uchidaetal1996F02A.jpg New 5.15   F Toyo, Kochi, Japan 22 May 1992 Uchida et al. (1996), This female was pregnant with 10 full-term embryos.
Cc_images/NZ500WhiteShark1990.jpg New 5.2. 1520

Mature, but did not yet have her first litter?

Streaky Bay, South Australia 26 Apr 1990 As part of Daiwa fishing tackle advertisement, a 1520kg Great White was caught on rod and reel by a Dion Gilmore off South Australia. Regards, Julian Brook
This 5.2 m, 1520 kg female was reported by Bruce (1992) to be mature, and bearing possible mating scars. However, uterine width indeces (UWI) of only 0.88-1.0% (left) and 0.44-0.56% (right) suggest that this female did not yet have her first litter.
  New 5.2   F;
Australia   Uterine width index (UWI) = 7.7% (Mollet et al. 2000; on reproductive biology of the female shortfin mako with discussion of maturity of white shark in discussion). May have recently given birth (Stevens, unpublished data).
Cc_images/19925225mfemaleGW.jpg New ~5.2   F Japan 22 May 1992 Caught off Japan (Victor Lin p.c.).
75 ~5.2 1554
(3427 lbs)
M 14 m south of Montauk Pt. 13 Aug 1986 Suffolk Summer Life Magazine, Friday, August 15, 1986 (The full story by Lou Grasso).
Did not qualify for IFGA record because of use of mammal bait. See above information by Scott Mierzwiak for fish with TL = ~5 (16-17 feet).
Cc_images/favignana520april1980.jpg New ~5.2 ~1500 M Off Favignana, Egadi Islands, Sicily 25 Apr 1980

Favignana April 1980: This was a male specimen, reported as ca. 520 cm TL, taken 25 April 1980 within a tonnara; it was finally found dead in one of the trap 'cages' having been sighted the day prior. TW estimate given as 1500 kg. Stomach contents were one intact juvenile dolphin, weight ca 20-25kg, partially severed.
For more detais see: Fergusson, I. K. 2002

    5.2-5.4 1200-1400 F Toohokke, Japan 30 May 1985 Nakano and Nakaya (1985, download pdf)
Cc84_01.jpg 84 5.3 ~
F Cananéia SP, Brazil 08 Dec 1992 Arfelli and Amorim (1993) Abstract
Cc_images/T001-004.jpg New 5.31

<1450 gutted

F Seven Star Lake, Hualien (needs to be confirmed, was brought to Southern Bay dock to get better price) 13 Oct 2005 TL was 5.31 m (17' 5"). Measured 3 times by Victor Lin, there were some 3~5 cm differences. The total weight was 1730kg 3814lb ). The gutted weight was 1450 kg but some liver remained so it was not a"clean" gutted weight. No embryos were found. The distance between upper and lower tail lobe was 1.33 m. The diameter of the largest vertebra taken from on the carcass was between 80~81mm but not sure if it was the largest vertebrae. The upper jaw perimeter is 1.063 m and lower jaw perimeter is 0.889 m (much more diffcult to measure). The largest tooth measures 60.3 mm (2 3/8").Thanks to Victor Lin for information and photos.
Cc_images/favignana535may1987.jpg New 5.35 ~ 2000 F Off Favignana, Egadi Islands, Sicily 8 May 1987

535 cm TL female specimen caught in the 'tonnara' bluefin tuna trap off Favignana, Egadi Islands, Sicily; date 8 May 1987; TW ca. 2000 kg; stomach contents one adult dolphin, severed in two pieces.
For more detais see: Fergusson, I. K. 2002
Additional JPG; Additional JPG.

50 min. tape was taken by J. Bradley.
QuickTime video clip (~4 min/~10 MB) was prepared by Dave Powell using iMovie.
  ~5.36 (5.0 m FL) 1360 incl. litter of 7 F North Cape, NZ (34 deg 25' S; 173 deg 03' E) 13 Nov 1991 From Francis (1996): " A female white shark was caught by C. Garrett on the afternoon of Nov 13, 1991, at North Cape, New Zealand (34 deg 25'S, 173 deg 03' E). She was caught in a 140-mm mesh set net in 8 m of water, and towed by Garrett and another fisherman to Houhora Harbour, a distance of 48 km. The shark was dragged ashore on November 14 and winched on the tray of a tow truck. During the process, five embryos were aborted through the combined effects of gravity, compression, and direct human assistance. The female and the embryos remained on the truck overnight and were weighed on a log-weighing machine in Kaitaia on November 15. That afternoon, the female was cut up for bait at Awanui Wharf, and two more embryos were discovered inside her. The jaws were removed from an embryo of unknown length and sexed by G. Kinnear, and the offal and the seven embryos were discarded over the edge of the wharf."
Two embryos and one vertebrae (22 +- 1 band-pairs) were retrieved later by Malcolm Francis and collected data was reported in the 1996 paper.
Cc_images/DomeierCc.jpg   5.41 ~1916 M off Mexico's Guadalupe Island Fall 2009 Was caught by Domeier's group. Was released after fitting the large male with a satellite tracking tag and taking a blood sample.
Cc_images/542cm1930kgIV.jpg   5.42 1930 F brought to Southern Bay Dock, East Taiwan 7 Nov 2008 Pregnant with early-term embryos (~10 cm TL) and eggcases. Thanks to Victor Lin for this valuable information.
Cc_images/kanzlershark.jpg   5.44
    Santa Rosalia, Mexico 26 Sep 2004 The huge great white shark caught by commerical fishermen near Santa Rosalia on Sept. 26, 2004. Photo courtesy Mike Kanzler, Brenda Goodson, and Justino Moreno Flores. Thanks go to Victor Lin for URL.
Cc_images/Korea5_45m_1_ton.jpg New 5.45 ~1000   Off Korea 10 Aug 2009 In 2009, for the first time there are sevaral reports of captures off Korea. On Aug. 10, 2009 , a 5.45 m, 1 ton(?) white shark was found stranded on the beach, and died one hour after it was found. On the same day an old fisherman caught a 4.7 m, 800 kg white shark (see above). Thanks to to Victor Lin for information.
Cc_images/IMG_1125RayKrueger.jpg   5.49 (18')   F Moreton Bay, Queensland Australia 18 Aug 1979 This white pointer was caught at Moreton Bay in Queensland, Australia on 18 August 1979. Jaw width outside 28" (0.711 m); jaw height top to bottom 27-1/2" (0.699 m); circumference above tooth line of upper jaw 42" (1.067 m); length down the side of largest tooth including root (behind clear gum) 2-3/8" (60.3 mm).Thanks to Ray Krueger for information and photo.
Cc_images/Display_White_Shark_8.jpg New 5.49-6.10
  F North shore Oahu, Hawaii 28 Dec 2005 Owner and Captain Jimmy Hall attracted worldwide attention with an incredible encounter with a giant great white shark on December 28th, 2005.Thanks to Steve Stine for URL.
Cc_images/5_5mTurkeyGW.jpg New ~5.5     off Karaburam, Turkey (Aegean Sea) 14 Mar 1991 Victor Lin p.c.
Cc100_01.jpg 100 5.5 ? ~ 3165 F Filfla Island, Malta 17 Apr 1987 Abela 1989; (Quite a tale....!)
Fergusson 1996;
Mollet et al. 1996; Download pdf (3.4 MB)
Cc_images/CcNov2002NewZ.JPG New ~5.5   F Firth of Thames, about 2 km off the eastern end of Waiheke Island NZ ~ 09 Nov 2003 The New Zealand Herald
Pregnant with 3-5 term-embryos of ~ 1.5 m TL
Cc_images/CamogliMay1954.jpg   5.2-5.5
or 7.0?
1400 or 2000? F Canogli, Italy 16 May 1954 De Maddalena (2001) quoting Tortonese (1965), Melegari (1973), and Fergusson (1996).
Photo provided by Victor Lin.
Cc_images/favignana550May1953.jpg   ~5.5 >1700 F Off Favignana, Egadi Islands, Sicily 29 May 1953 Favignana 1953: A very large female, estimated 550 cm TL and TW estimate at least 1700kg. Killed on 29 May 1953. See the original notes penned by Guarassi (in Italian), which directly relate the details as told to him by the former 'rais', or head, of the tonnara present at the time it was caught.
For more detais see: Fergusson, I. K. 2002




F West end of Catalina Island CA, USA 13 June 1976

Largest white shark caught off California.
Measured length was 18 feet 1/2 inch (5.50 m). Thanks to Mike Shaw, SeaWorld (pers.comm.) Taxidermied specimen was on display at SeaWorld and jaw was later acquired by Gordon Hubbell. Total weight 4,150lbs (1514 kg) (page58 "The Sea World Book Of Sharks" by Eve Bunting). Liver mass 272 kg (600 lbs, 14.46 %); heart mass 4.5 kg (10 lbs, 0.24 %); girth 3.1 m (10' 2", 56% of TL). Shark was harpooned by fisherman Weeren near West end of Catalina Island on June 13, 1976 (14.8 km from shore of Catalina Island, 27.8 km from California coast). Accoroding to Le Boeuf et al. (1982) the stomach contents were nearly digested and could not be identified. The bulk of the material suggested a large animal, probably a marine mammal. Klimley (1985, Fig. 7) reported that the stomach contents of this fish were identified as elephant seal (Mirounge angustirostris) and that the estimated mass was 680 kg. However, these data apply to a different white shark caught on 7 Sep 1975 with TL ~5 m, namely #6 in Table 1 in Le Boeuf et al (1982) for which the stomach content were identified as elephant seal and it was estimated that the elephant seal probably measured 3 m TL and weighed 450 to 680 kg. Thanks to Andrew Sprott who later located an UPI photo with caption in the Fresno Bee dated 17 June, 1976.
From Bone Clone Website:
"The original jaw was prepared by Dr. Gordon Hubbell, a leading researcher in sharks. The original specimen was brought to Sea World in San Diego and was caught off the Southern California coast. The jaw contains a total of 230 teeth (5 rows of 46)." TL is reported to be 19' 6" (5.94 m) which is a likely overestimate.
According to Ralph Collier (email to Andrew Sprott) this shark was measured by Shelly Applegate and Ralph to be TL = 19' 3.5" (5.88 m) and mass 4,680lbs (2123 kg). These appear to be overestimates also.

Cc_images/DSCN0705.jpg New 5.5?? 17" is 5.18 ~1800   Southern CA, USA Sep 1994 From http://www.angelfire.com/ok/SeaKing/largest.html/
The above picture shows one of the largest recently caught sharks. This 5.5 m (17 ft) female great white shark weighing 1,800 kg (4,000 lbs) became entangled in swordfish nets in southern California waters on September 1994 and died before fishermen were able to set it free. Thanks to Victor Lin for URL and photo.
Uchida&Francis/Uchidaetal1996F02D.jpg New 5.55   F Kin, Okinawa, Japan 16 Feb 1985 Uchida et al. (1996). ~200 egg capsules in uteri suggesting blastodisc stage of pregnancy rather than aborted embryos.
Cc_images/CcNov2002NewZ.JPG New 5.55     Firth of Thames, New Zealand ~ 9 Nov 2003 This female was pregnant with 3-5 full-term embryos.
Cc_images/2004Taiwan.jpg New 5.57 2120 ? Caught in set net off S.E. Taiwan 02 Jan 2004 Vertebrae were saved, diameter of largest one was 83 mm. It was not a very clear vertebrae for counting rings. Counts made by Sabine Wintner ranged from 16-22, depending on whether the original x-ray or the scan with and without image analysis was used. The frozen fins weighed 79 kg. Victor Lin p.c.
  New ~5.6
  ? Ganzirri,
Sicily, Italy
09 Mar 1965 Harpooned by Nicola Donato. Stomach contents included parts of marine turtle (Caretta carretta).Weighed ~1200 kg. (Celona, Donato, & De Maddalean Annales Ser. hist. nat. 11, 2001 1(23))
Photo of jaw is shown on p.74 in Ellis & McCosker (1991). 94 5.633   F Anacapa Island.CA, USA 06 Nov 1985 L11685 in Hubbell (1996, Table 1)
97 5.67-6.00 1214 w/o liver F Gans Bay, South Africa 17 Jan 1987 LJVC-870303; Mollet et al. 1996
(Download pdf 3.4 MB)
Size of largest vertebrae was 80x43 mm with a band count of 23 (Dave Ebert pers. comm.). Upper Jaw Perimeter 1.375 m (Leonard Compagno pers. comm.)
Cc_images/CcCroatia2003.jpg New ~5.7 2500   Island of Jabuka, Croatia (eastern Adriatic) June 2003 At the end of the report a capture of a female near the Island of Jabuka, Croatiawith TL = 5.7 m and estimated weight of 2500 kg is mentioned. Thanks to Stephen Stine. For observations in the eastern Adriatic Sea see Soldo & Jardas (2002) and Soldo & Dulcic (2005).
Cc_images/PEIshark.jpg New 5.76   F Alberton, PEI, Canada 04 Aug 1983

M91583 (Hubbell 1996);
Photo from Victor Lin


3000? 1700 calc

F Furubira, Japan 31 May 1985 Nakano and Nakaya (1985, download pdf)
  New ~5.8     Nepean Bay South Australia 31 Aug 2005 The KI Islander, Friday, 2 September 2005 (KI = Kangaroo Island)
Massive shark spotted in Nepean Bay. A large White Pointer shark was spotted in the area last Wednesday morning. Kingscote resident Colin Waller was out fishing with a friend from interstate approximately two kilometres from Red Banks when, at around 11.30am, the shark appeared near their boat. "Our boat was around 16 feet long and the shark was quite a bit bigger ... I'd say it was in the vicinity of 19 feet long," Colin told The Islander. "It stayed around for about half an hour, never getting closer than six or seven metres and I think it might have been attracted to the red mullet that we were pulling in, as some of them were bleeding," he said. Mr Waller said he saw a similar sized shark about ten years ago when he was diving for rock lobster in the same area. Thanks to Victor Lin.
Cc_images/Cc1937Florida.jpg   5.8-6.7     Lonbboat Key, near Anna Maria FL USA 24 Dec 1937 Thanks go to John Spettell for this find.
Cc_images/Saidietal2005Fig2.jpg New 5.87 >2000 F Gulf of Gabès, southern Tunisia 26 Feb 2004 Saïdi et al. (2005). This female was pregnant with 4 near-term embryos.
Smaller jaws likely came from this pregnant female
New ~ 6 2000 F Baisolane (officially "Pisirian"), Taiwan 13 Oct 1997 This female was pregnant and had a litter of eight (details)
  New ~6   ? Civitanova, Italy Feb 1839 De Maddalena et al. (2001) Annales Ser. hist. nat. 11, 2 (25):193-206.
  New ~6 ~1800 F? Enfola, Isola d'Elba, Italy 12 Aug 1938 De Maddalena et al. (2001) Annales Ser. hist. nat. 11, 2 (25):193-206.
  New ~6   F Ledge Point Australia 22 Mar 1984 H5384 (Hubbell 1996)
  New ~6   M     Largest known male H112690 (Hubbell 1996)
  New ~6

F7282 (Hubbell 1996)

Cc_images/ATT00233.jpg New ~6.1 ? F? Yakutat, Alaska USA 06 Sep 2004

The next day on a charter with several clients, again a client was reeling in a halibut, about a 60 lb fish, and had it up to the back of the boat when a large shark took a large bite out of the middle of it.
Complete report by Rhonda R Coston.

  New ~6.2?   F Ganzirri, Italy 9 Mar 1965 De Maddalena et al. (2001) Annales Ser. hist. nat. 11, 2 (25):193-206. Hypothesied to have been measured over-the-curve, estimated to be 5.6 m TOT from photograph.
Cc_images/gallipoli-1979_6.2m.jpg New ~6.2 ~1700 M Off Gallipoli, Italy 18 Sep 1979 De Maddalena (1999) Records of the great white shark in the Mediterranean Sea. Private Publication.
Photo provided by Victor Lin.
Cc_images/GreatWhiteShark_bg2.jpg New 6.3?
(5085 lbs)
F? Off Phillip Island, south of Victoria 1987

Claimed to have measured 7 m TL and 2.25 tonnes according to Ellis & McCosker 1991. Data needs to be checked. Fred Dumoulin pointed out that capture year was 1987 rather than the 1978 given by Ellis and McCosker 1991. Steve Stine sent me a full body picture he found on the internet with a handwritten sign stating that it was 20' 8" long and weighed 5085 pounds (see photo on left). According to Conan A. Gray: The Great White shown in this picture is the Vic Hislop Record White, totaling 18-19’….look up Vic Hislop record Great White on Google Images, then look at license number on back of winch truck in both pictures.

  New ~6.4   F Ganzirri, Sicily, Italy 19 Jun 1961 De Maddalena et al. (2001) Annales Ser. hist. nat. 11, 2 (25):193-206.
CubaGW.jpg New 6.4?
(21 ft)
~2000 F? Off Cojímar, Cuba 1945

Guitart and Milera (1974) reported:. Liver weighed 1005 pounds (456 kg); total mass was estimated to be over 7000 pounds (3175 kg), however, assuming that liver was 20-25% of total mass, total mass would be around 2000 kg (1824-2279 kg). Vertbrae was 80 mm diameter and 37 mm wide. Largest upper tooth was 57 mm from base to apex (UA2H according to figure on p. 106 in Mollet et al (1996). Victor Lin found photo on Internet.
Capture account by Eduardo J. Echenique

Cc_images/CcMar152008.jpg New ~10 m?? ~2500 F? off Sandun, China 15 Mar 2008 A very large white shark was caught off Sandun, China on March 15, 2008. According to the source(in Chinese), this shark was estimated 10 meters long (??), and when it was lifted by the hoist, the scale read 2.5 tons. Victor Lin pers. comm.
    ~7?     Camogli, Italy 16 Mar 1954 Tortonese (1965); De Maddalena et al. (2001) Annales Ser. hist. nat. 11, 2 (25):193-206. Length contested by Fergusson (1996.
Cc2500Jaw.jpg New 6.7-7.0? 2500 F? Taiwan 14 May 1997 This 2500 kg GW was caught in1997 in a set-net in Sevenstar Lake, a bay in Hualien province,Taiwan. (Victor Lin pers. comm.)
Cc101_01.jpg 101 > 7?   F Kangaroo Island, S. Australia 01 Apr 1987 Jury 1987 (What a story!);
Cappo 1988 (The scientific approach);
Mollet et al. 1996 (Download PDF 3.4 MB)
Photograph No. TL (m) M (kg) Sex Capture Location Cap.

Created May 1995, revised November 2011. Back to previous page
Please send comments or corrections to mollet@pacbell.net