If you are like me then you love everything about sharks, but in this case about great white sharks and about their migration to an area in the Pacific Ocean known as White Shark Café. You may be wondering why great white sharks migrate to this area of the Pacific ocean, what they do when they get there and where is the White Shark Café.
White Shark Café is in the Pacific Ocean about half way between Baja California coast and Hawaii. Great white sharks from the Farallon Islands near San Francisco, Mexico’s Guadalupe Island and Hawaii migrate along the Great White Highway to this deep ocean zone and reside there from April to July.
The best way to do more diving is to book yourself on a scuba diving liveaboard. If you want to dive with great white sharks, one of the best places in the world to do this is at Guadalupe Island, Mexico (which includes one liveaboard departing from San Diego). You can check the latest and best deals on liveaboards, and dive with great whites at Guadalupe Island, using the following window:
Before you read further, you may also like to find out about places where you may be surprised to find great white sharks. For example, would you expect to find great white sharks in the Caribbean or in the Gulf of Mexico? What about on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or perhaps great white sharks in the Maldives?
Where is the White Shark Café?
White Shark Café is located 23.37°N 132.71°W, which is a remote area of the Pacific Ocean roughly halfway between California Baja coast and Hawaii where great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) congregate. White Shark Café is in a region of the Pacific known as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.
When was White Shark Cafe discovered?
White Shark Café was first discovered in 2002 by researchers from Stanford University when studying great white sharks using satellite-linked radio transmitting tags.
How big is White Shark Café?
White Shark Café is an area or zone that is roughly the size of New Mexico, which is 315,194km² (121,697 miles²), which is roughly 1.3 times larger than the UK, and is where great white shark congregate in large numbers.
The White Shark Café area is larger for adult female white sharks, as the females seem to wonder over a wider area, whereas the male great whites congregate in a smaller and more defined region called a Shared Offshore Foraging Area (SOFA).
How deep is White Shark Café in the Pacific Ocean?
The depth of White Shark Café is 4,476 metres (14.685 feet) when measured using 23.37°N 132.71°W coordinates, which are the coordinates of the centre of this great white shark café, which is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Why do sharks go to the White Shark Café?
It isn’t known why great white sharks go to the White Shark Café, but it is thought they go there to feed on squid alongside sperm whales that are also found in this zone. But there is also the possibility white sharks go to the White Shark Café to mate.
The mystery of why great whites congregate in this area of the ocean is still being researched, but why these large predatory fish go there when there’s less food near the surface in the epipelagic zone than on the coastal region of California and around Guadalupe Island is still unknown.
But in the White Shark Café zone in the deeper waters known as the mesopelagic zone it is rich in marine life at about 400-500 metres (1,312-1,640 feet) deep. It has been confirmed from the data collected that the white sharks dive to 400-600 metres (1,312-1,969) deep. So it is likely they are feeding at this depth.
How long do great white sharks stay at the Great White Café?
Research has revealed that adult Great White Sharks in this entirely pelagic habitat of the Great White Café for at least 3 months of the year, but they have been known to stay in this area for as long as 15 months.
How do great white sharks get to the White Shark Café?
Great white sharks get to the White Shark Café along the Great White Highway, also known as the Blue Serengeti. This highway stretches from the California Baja coast and from the Farallon Islands near San Francisco to the White Shark Café, which is roughly 1,250 miles (2,000km) from San Diego.
How long does it take white sharks to get to White Shark Café?
It takes great white sharks on average about 100 days, or just over three months, to travel to White Shark Café from the California Baja coast. On their journey to the White Shark Café, some great white sharks were recorded as diving to over 900 metres (2,953 feet).
What do great white sharks do at the White Shark Café?
It is thought that great white sharks migrate to the White Shark Café to feed. Female great whites feed in a wider area in this pelagic zone compared to their male counterparts, which congregate in a smaller and more defined region.
What do great white sharks eat at the White Shark Café?
It is thought that great white sharks eat light sensitive squid at the White Shark Café, as researchers discovered that there is a lack of epipelagic fish and small whales or cetaceans in the region, which white sharks would normally also feed on, given the opportunity.
Are there sharks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?
There are sharks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which includes great white sharks in the area known as White Shark Café and the Oceanic Whitetip Sharks that are also ocean dwelling sharks. You may like to discover the difference between great white sharks and oceanic whitetip sharks.
Voyage to the White Shark Café
The voyage to the White Shark Café in the Pacific was on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor. On the voyage was Dr. Barbara Block of Standford University, Oceanographer Dr. Amanda Netburn at NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and colleges from Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Is there a White Shark Café Cam?
There is a White Shark Café Cam, which is a camera attached to Pacific great white sharks. The White Shark Café Cam measures the depth the shark dives, light, water temperature and acceleration. The White Shark Café Cam is attached to the dorsal fin of great white sharks so as not to hurt the shark.
The White Shark Café Cam would be turned on at interesting times, for example when the sharked reached the White Shark Café zone. Once the camera had finished recording, it would release from the shark’s fin so it can be retrieved and the data collected.
Information collected includes:
- Male great white sharks dive to depths of over 2,000 metres (6,562 feet) – this depth was clocked by white shark Josh.
- Male great white sharks were found to swim up and down in the water column in a yo-yo fashion sometimes 150 times every day.
If you would like to ‘meet the sharks‘ that are part of this research, please visit this link: White Shark Café sharks.
What is under the water at White Shark Café?
If you would like to dive with great white sharks at Guadalupe Island from San Diego, please take a look at this article: Shark Cage Diving San Diego. This will be a trip of a live-time!
For other places to cage dive with great white sharks, which includes the Farallon Islands, please take a look at this article: Where Is The Best Place To Cage Dive With Sharks.
Finally, do you know why great white sharks die in captivity? If you would like to find out why, please take a read of this article about why great white sharks die in captivity, even when they are put into huge aquariums.
I hope you enjoyed this article about where is the White Shark Café
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkelling, in the comments below. But in particular if you’ve been on the Master liveaboard. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof go-pro’s!
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about where is the White Shark Café), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkeling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.
Have fun and be safe!
References: The Northeastern Pacific White Shark Shared Offshore Foraging Area (SOFA): A First Examination and Description from Ship Observations and Remote Sensing. Information from Research Gate.