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Public to Pick Name for Okinawa Whale Shark

Date Posted: 2004-03-19

The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is inviting the public to name its ten-year-old whale shark. The aquarium, located in the township of Motobu near Nago, marked the 10th successful year of raising the sea creature, the longest period the species has ever been kept in captivity anywhere.

The previous record was held by the Osaka-based Kaiyukan aquarium, which kept its whale shark nearly 8 years. The Churaumi whale shark measures some seven meters in length, and weighs in at 3,000kg.

The shark was taken to the aquarium in March 1995, after being caught in fixed fishing nets off the village of Yomitan. At that time, it was about four and a half meters long.

Churaumi has three whale sharks entertaining crowds at the aquarium. The aquarium will accept name ideas until April 11, and will hold a ceremony to announce the new name on May 2.

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