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Norton the 3,000-pound Fish

Second whale shark to die in six months.

Posted: June 25, 2007, 2 a.m. EST

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Two whale sharks have died in the past six months at the Georgia Aquarium. In January, the aquarium lost Ralph the whale shark to what was later identified as peritonitis, an inflammation in the abdominal cavity, which may have been caused by a feeding tube. Six months later Norton the whale shark also died.

Norton was barely eating for months and was being force-fed. The aquarium believes that both of the giant fish died as a result of not eating, but have yet to identify why they were not eating. They are looking into the use of the chemical Trichlorfon, which was used in the aquarium for parasite removal.

Whale sharks are the world’s biggest species of fish, and can grow as long as 40 feet. The Georgia Aquarium’s Ocean Voyager exhibit is the largest tank in the world, holding over six million gallons.

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Reader Comments

goldielover    louisburg, NC

5/25/2011 4:08:30 PM

very sad:O(

Julie    Gilbert, AZ

10/18/2009 9:37:09 AM

Too bad for the sharks. I hope they found out what went wrong.

Jeremy    Oakland, MD

3/18/2009 9:30:38 AM

Actually I saw Bruce Carlson speak at the 2007 MACNA show in Pittsburgh. I believe most, if not all the Whale Sharks that are in the Georgia Aquarium were purchased from Thai Fishermen that intended to kill the fish for food purposes. I agree, the best place for a Whale Shark is in the ocean, though I know that the level of care and consideration offered by the Georgia Aquarium is top notch.

They have also implemented some unique programs to preserve Whale Sharks in the wild.

Jeremy Gosnell
Below the Surface

Tim    Amsterdam, AE

7/28/2008 11:00:54 AM

And now they want to let you swim with their newest whale shark. For shame for shame.

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