Great white sharks live in almost all coastal and offshore waters which have water temperature between 12 and 24 °Celsius. However, there appears to be greater concentrations in the United States (Atlantic Northeast and California), South Africa, Japan, Oceania, Chile, and the Mediterranean.
|Great White Shark Distribution Map|
These findings challenge the traditional notion about the great white as being a coastal species.
According to a recent study, California great whites have migrated to an area between Baja California and Hawaii known as the White Shark Café to spend at least 100 days before migrating back to Baja.
On the journey out, they swim slowly and dive down to around 3,000 ft. After they arrive, they change behaviour and do short dives to about 1,000 ft for up to ten minutes. Another white shark that was tagged off of the South African coast swam to the southern coast of Australia and back within the year.
This new evidence refuted traditional theories that white sharks are coastal territorial predators and opens up the possibility of interaction between shark populations that were previously thought to have been discrete.
The reasons for their migration and what they do at their destination is still unknown. Possibilities that may support this idea include seasonal feeding or mating.
A similar study tracked a great white shark from South Africa swimming to Australia's north-western coast and back, a journey of 20,000 km in under nine months.
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