Enormous great white shark grabs spotlight in Western Australia

Photo of predator being tagged alongside boat sparks media scramble

Western Australia has endured months of criticism over a shark-culling program intended to keep swimmers and surfers safe, but now a monstrous great white shark that was tagged and released is making headlines—and causing jaws to drop.
The massively plump predator, estimated to measure at least 16 feet and weigh 1.6 tons, was captured on March 30 off King George Sound and fitted with an internal tag in a process biologists described as groundbreaking.
But the photo atop this post, revealing the incredible girth of the shark as it was turned over for the tagging process, was released Tuesday. That sent websites scrambling to post the photo and update the story.
The female shark’s nickname: Joan of Shark.

Joan is among many sharks that are tagged as part of an alternative to culling, to let biologists know their whereabouts, in part so swimmers and surfers can be warned.
Since Joan was tagged she has been detected near Albany beaches several times, including nine times last Saturday. (Albany is in the extreme south of Western Australia and is not in the region in which culling is occurring.) …..

By Nautilus Staff

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