A great white shark has been swimming in the floating pen outside Paradise Cove in Malibu since Tuesday, caught accidentally by a commercial fisherman and turned over to marine biologists with the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It's a young male, 4 feet 9 inches long, no estimates on weight yet.
The shark stays under observation in the 4 million-gallon mesh offshore holding pen until the biologists decide whether to tag and release the him, or send him to Monterey for a star turn in the wildly popular Outer Bay exhibit, the aquarium's largest. If the new great white makes the cut, he'll travel to Monterey via the "Finnebago," a 3,000-gallon oblong holding tank filled with water kept at 68 degrees.
The aquarium typically looks for "young of the year", or sharks under a year old, who eat bait fish but won't hunt larger prey, like seals and sea lions. Opinions about keeping a shark in captivity are - surprise! - sharply divided. Some object on moral grounds, others say learning as much as possible about the predators will help protect them. (For an update on the aquarium's previous tenant, check our recreation blog, Outposts.)
Meanwhile, the newest candidate is swimming in circles in Malibu. We'll let you know what happens next.