Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

Angel shark

Squatina squatina








The  angel shark belongs to the family of the angel sharks  (Squatinidae) and the order of the angel sharks (Squatiniformes).

This shark is named for its graceful, ‘winglike’ pectoral fins. It is a typical bottom dweller, most frequently observed on sandy bottoms, where it can cover itself in the sand,  leaving only its eyes visible. In winter, this shark can move to deeper water. It is a nocturnal hunter, feeding on bottom dwellers like flatfish, but also rays, mollusks and crustaceans. It can detect weak electric fields with the tassles around its mouth.

The angel shark is ovoviparous, the eggs develop in the mother, the embryos feed on the yolk sac. The litter of this shark consists of 7 to 25 pups, the larger the female, the large the number of pups. Gestation period is 8 to 10 months. Angel sharks in the Mediterranean have their pups in December, January and February, those in the North Sea in July. At birth, the pups are approximately 25 cm long. Angel sharks probably breed every other year.

  • Maximum length: 245 cm
  • Maximum weight: 80 kg
  • Maximum lifespan: 22 years
  • Habitat: 0 to 360 meter depth
  • Catches: this shark was common in the Mediterranean and the North Sea, but has been intensely fished, also often caught as bycatch in trawl nets, standingy nets and long lines over the seafloor. In the last 50 years, the species is probably disappeared from the North Sea. It is only observed occasionally, more often in the souterh Mediterranean and near the Canary Islands. It is a gamefish.
  • Status: ‘Critically Endangered’ on the international IUCN Red List (








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