The white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), or mango tuatini of the Maoris, is a large, heavy-bodied shark attaining a length of 16 ft and a weight of over 1,700 lb. A 928–lb example caught off Whangaroa had in its stomach a 4–ft mako, the backbone of another, a 40–lb hapuku, a gannet, a 25–lb lump of whale blubber, and seven strands of whalebone. This voracious shark occurs in Australian waters also, where its name “white death” indicates that it is a dangerous species. It is greyish above, white below, and has large triangular teeth with serrated edges. Early in 1964 what is believed to be a white shark attacked and killed a swimmer at St. Clair beach, Dunedin. Two swimmers who went to the rescue were awarded the George Medal in October 1964.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.