Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

Starry smooth-hound

Mustelus asterias

Starry smoothound in the Eastern Schelde, by Peter Verhoog

The starry smooth-hound is a member of the family of the hound sharks (Triakidae) and the ground sharks  (Carcharhiniformes).


This streamlined shark can be found close to shores, but also further out in the sea, from the tidal zone to at least a depth of 100 meters. The smooth-hound prefers swimming just off the sea floor, where it feeds on several species of crustaceans.

The smooth-hound is ovoviviparous, the eggs develop in the mother’s body. The unborn young feed on the egg yolk.  Litter size varies from 7 to 15 pups, and the young are approx. 30 cm long when born.

The smooth-hound is often mistaken for the common smooth-hound (Mustelus mustelus, see corresponding page), and the catch data are probably on the two species. There is ongoing genetic research to discover which species are caught in which region.

  • Maximum length: 140 cm
  • Maximum weight: 25 kg
  • Maximum life span: 18 years
  • Habitat: 0 tot 100 meter depth
  • Catches: the starry smooth-hound is caught with trawlers, nets and lines for its meat and oil and used for fishmeal. The meat if often salted. This  smooth-hound is also a gamefish, and caught from shores and boats. Based on catch data, the populations are considered too small to be sustainable.
  • Status: ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List (, but considered ‘Vulnerable’ on the Dutch Red List










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