Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

Tope shark

Galeorhinus galeus


A tope shark, Galeorhinus galeus. Picture by Peter Verhoog


The tope shark is a member of the family of the houndsharks (Triakidae) and the order of the Carcharhiniformes.


This shark, that is also called school shark or soupfin shark, can be found in colder and temperature waters around the globe, from the shallow waters along the beach until the open water. Tope sharks live in small shoals, that can migrate within their habitat. This shark feeds on bottom and pelagic fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, wurms and echinoderms.


The tope shark is ovoviviparous, the eggs develop within mother, where they feed on the yolk sac. The larger the mother, the higher the number of pups. The litter can consist of 6 to 52 pups, that are 30 cm long at birth. This sharks reproduces once per year, and the gestation period is a full  year.

  • Maximum length: 195 cm
  • Maximum weight: 50 kg
  • Maximum lifespan: 60 years
  • Habitat: 0 to 155 meter depth
  • Catches: historically, fisheries have targeted the tope shark for its liver oil, meat and fish. There has been an extensive fishery with lines and nets. Its breeding grounds are under siege by trawling nets and submarine power cables.
  • Status: ‘Vulnerable’ on the international IUCN Red List (







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