Scientific name.........Galeorhinus Galeus
Other common names.............School shark, Tope shark
The Soupfin shark is a moderately slender long-nosed hound shark,
without obvious anterior nasal flaps or sub ocular ridges. Large
arched mouth. Second dorsal fin much smaller than the first and
about as large as the anal fin. Extremely long terminal caudal lobe
( half the dorsal caudal margin ).
These sharks can reach a maximum length of 6.6 feet. Males mature at
( 3.9 to 5.6 feet ) and females mature at ( 4.3 to 6.1 feet ). Pups
measure ( 12 to 14 inches ).
They have small blade-like teeth.
Soupfin sharks have a bronzy gray color on the upper side and pale
underneath. The young have black markings on their fins.
It feeds mainly on fish, squid, and octopus near the seabed or in
the water column.
Soupfin sharks are active, strong, long distance swimmers,
occurring in small schools, partly segregated by size and sex, which
are seasonally highly migratory in higher latitudes. This species
migrates long distances so pregnant females can give birth in cooler
Widespread: west coast of North America, east coast of South
America, northeast Atlantic, South Africa, southern Australia, New
Zealand. They are most abundant in cold to warm temperate
continental seas, from the surf line and very shallow water to well
offshore ( not oceanic ), often near the bottom ( 6.5 to 1,554.2
These sharks are ovoviviparous, no yolk-sac placenta. Litter size
varies, increasing with the size of the mother they can give birth
from 6 to 52 pups per litter. After a gestation of 12 months, the
pups are born 12 to 14 inches in length. Female sharks reach
maturity at 8 to 10 years and breed only every second or third year.
The soupfin shark is a shy species and encounters are unlikely. It
will flee long before a diver arrives in its vicinity.
Vulnerable. They are fished all over the world for their meat, liver
oil and fins. Large numbers of new born pups are sometimes caught
inshore by anglers. Due to their low reproductive rate, combined
with the soupfin's longevity, has made it vulnerable to overfishing
for its meat, fins, and liver oil.