Port Jackson Shark
Scientific name.........Heterodontus Portusjacksoni
Other name...............Oyster crusher or tabbigaw
The Port Jackson shark, also called the oyster crusher or tabbigaw,
is very similar to the related California hornshark. These sharks
are unmistakable, with their blunt foreheads, pig-like snouts, and
broad eye ridges.
These sharks can measure up to a maximum length of 5.4 feet, but
rarely exceeds 4.6 feet. Males mature at 27- 31 inches, females at
31-37.4 inches. The pups measure between 9 - 9.4 inches long.
They have small pointed teeth at the front of the jaw and blunt
teeth at he rear. With these, they can grab soft- bodied fish and
crustaceans, and crush sea urchins.
Port Jackson sharks are gray to light brown or whitish with unique
distinctive black striped "harness" marking. No spots. Dark between
and under eyes.
These sharks feed mainly on sea urchins, other benthic
invertebrates, also small fish.
Port Jackson sharks rest by day in groups on sand in a few favoured
caves and gullies, some traditional collective egg-laying sites are
used. Hatchlings move to nursery grounds nearby until adolescent,
when they move well offshore and segregate by sex , joining the
adult population a few years later. Adults segregate by sex,
undertaking complex seasonal breeding migrations. Some males and all
females move to inshore reefs in July to breed, returning offshore
after mating (males) and egg laying (females). Some adults remain
offshore in summer, others migrate south up to 850 km from breeding
They inhabit in Southern Australia, from Queensland to mid-Western
Australia, including Tasmania, rare in New Zealand. They occur in
temperate waters, from intertidal zone to a depth of at least 900
No data found.
In Australia, females and some males in the Sydney area move into
shallow water in summer to mate. In August and September, females
lay two eggs every 8-17 days among rock crevices in 16-100 feet of
water, often in a communal nursery. The female will wedge the
pointed edge and flanges of the screw-shaped egg case into a rocky
crevice using her mouth. The young hatch 9 to 12 months later and
move into bays and estuaries. After a decade, they will have grown
to 20-30 inches and have reached adolescence.
Generally sedentary, harmless unless handled.
Abundant. Taken as bycatch but mostly returned alive, Kept and bred