Scientists Plan To Study Great White Shark 'Cafe' In Pacific

Dustin Wicksell

Researchers are planning to deploy a specialized camera system in the coming months in an effort to understand why great white sharks meet at a specific spot in the Pacific Ocean each year, which has been dubbed the "white shark cafe."

The region is located roughly halfway between Mexico and Hawaii, as U.S. News and World Report notes, and white sharks congregate there each winter. Researchers are aware that the area is an aggregation site for the species, but they don't know why the white sharks are drawn there. Once they arrive, the animals make a series of repeated deep dives, and while scientists have speculated that the sharks could be either feeding or mating, the reasons behind their behavior remain a mystery.

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Jorgensen and his team have been working to refine their camera with a series of one-to-five day tests that have taken place in coastal waters. In December or January, the team will travel to either the white shark cafe or a nearby area known as the Red Triangle (located near the coast of Northern California and extending from Bodega Bay north of San Francisco, and beyond the Farallon Islands, as KCBS notes) in order to deploy it in the field. Once submerged, they hope the camera will open up the undersea world of the great white shark in new and fascinating ways heretofore unseen.

[Photo by Elias Levy -- Own Work via Flickr | Cropped and Resized | CC BY 2.0]