School Shark, Galeorhinus galeus (Linnaeus 1758)


Other Names: Snapper Shark, Soupfin Shark, Tope, Tope Shark

A School Shark, Galeorhinus galeus, at The North Sea Oceanarium. Source: Jens Christian Schou / Biopix (via EOL). License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

Summary:
A slender slate grey to bronze shark with a pale belly, plain fins and the underside of the head near the snout tip often translucent.

This active strong swimming shark which, together with the Gummy Shark, Mustelus antarcticus, is the most important species in the southern Australian commercial fishery.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Galeorhinus galeus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Aug 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1960

School Shark, Galeorhinus galeus (Linnaeus 1758)

More Info


Distribution

Recorded in Australia from Moreton Bay (Qld) to Perth (WA), including Tasmania and Lord Howe Island. Elsewhere in temperate waters of eastern North Atlantic, western South Atlantic, eastern North and South Pacific, off South Africa, New Zealand. 

A widespread mainly coastal and bottom associated shark found in temperate areas over the continental shelf to about 800 m on the continental slope. Juveniles are often found in shallow, inshore bays of Victoria and Tasmania. School Sharks also occur well offshore in the Tasman Sea. Although usually found near the bottom, the species ranges through the water column even into the pelagic zone.

Features

Meristic features: Vert. (precaudal) 79; (total) 127. 
Body streamlined, slightly elongate; caudal peduncle without keels or precaudal pits. Head conical; snout relatively long and pointed; eyes oval; nictitating membrane internal in adults but transitional in juveniles; spiracles small; upper labial furrows moderately long, longer than lower; teeth in both jaws of similar shape and size, each with an outwardly oblique central cusp bearing three to five coarse serrations on its outer margin; five small gill slits, last two above pectoral fin. 
Interdorsal ridge usually absent. Two dorsal fins, second considerably smaller than first, origin of first behind inner corner of pectoral fin but closer to origin of pectoral than ventral fins, origin of second dorsal slightly in advance of anal-fin origin; caudal fin heterocercal, wide sub-terminal section to upper lobe with deep sub-terminal notch, distal flap expanded giving a characteristic 'double tailed' appearance, lower lobe prominent. Pectoral fins of moderate size, angular, hind margin slightly concave.

Feeding

Feeds on bony fishes (bottom-dwelling and pelagic species), squid and octopus. Small juveniles feed on crustaceans, polychaete worms, gastropods and echinoderms.

Biology

A very long-lived species and tagging studies reveal that this species can live to at least 55 years. Age at maturity is 8 to 10 for males and 10 to 15 for females. 
Reproduction is aplacental viviparity (ovoviviparity) with litters of 15-43 (mean = 28) young. Males mature at 120 cm TL at 8 years of age, and females at 130 cm TL at 10 years of age. The pups are born 28-35 cm TL after a 12 month gestation. Research from New Zealand found that School Shark litters may have multiple sires - presumably because females can potentially store sperm for long periods of time after the mating season. 

Fisheries

Fished throughout its range and heavily exploited. The flesh is excellent eating.

Conservation

The genetic analyses of Chabot (2015) indicatethat School Shark populations around the world are isolated and should be managed as distinct, independent stocks.

Etymology

Galeorhinus is derived from the Greek galeos meaning a 'shark' and rhinos meaning 'nose'.

Species Citation

Squalus galeus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat. Ed. 10: 234. Type locality: European Ocean.

Author

Dianne J. Bray

School Shark, Galeorhinus galeus (Linnaeus 1758)

References


Brown, L.P., Bridge, N.F. & Walker, T.I. 2000. Summary of tag releases and recaptures in the Southern Shark Fishery. Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute Report No. 16: 1–61.

Chabot, CL (2015) Microsatellite loci confirm a lack of population connectivity among globally distributed populations of the tope shark Galeorhinus galeus (Triakidae). Journal of Fish Biology. doi: 10.1111/jfb.12727 Abstract

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(2) 251-655 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World. London : Collins 368 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V. & Niem, V.H. 1998. Family Triakidae. pp. 1297-1304 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 2 687-1396 pp.
Hurst, R.J., Bagley, N.W., McGregor, G.A. & Francis, M.P. 1999. Movement of the New Zealand school shark, Galeorhinus galeus, from tag returns. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 33: 29–48.

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Kailola, P.J., Williams, M.J., Stewart, P.C., Reichelt, R.E., McNee, A. & Grieve, C. 1993. Australian Fisheries Resources. Canberra : Bureau of Resource Sciences and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation 422 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna tria Naturae, secundem Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentis, Synonymis, Locis. Tom.1 Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii 824 pp.
Macbeth, W.G., Vandenberg, M. & Graham, K.J. 2008. Identifying Sharks and Rays; A guide to Commercial Fishers. Sydney : New South Wales Department of Primary Industry pp. 71.

Olsen, A.M. 1954. The biology, migration, and growth rate of the school shark, Galeorhinus australis (Macleay) (Carcharhinidae) in south-eastern Australian waters. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 5: 353–410.

Olsen, A.M. 1959. The status of the school shark fishery in south-eastern Australian waters. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 10: 150–176.

Olsen, A.M. 1984. Species synopsis of school shark, Galeorhinus australis (Macleay, 1881). Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations: Rome.

Pognoski, J.J., Pollard, D.A. & Paxton, J.R. 2002. Conservation Overview and Action Plan for Australian Threatened and Potentially Threatened Marine and Estuarine Fishes. Canberra : Environment Australia 375 pp.

Punt, A.E. & Walker, T.I. 1998. Stock assessment and risk analysis for the school shark (Galeorhinus galeus) off southern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 49: 719–731.

Punt, A.E., Pribac, F., Walker, T.I., Taylor, B.L.& Prince, J.D. 2000. Stock assessment of school shark Galeorhinus galeus based on a spatially-explicit population dynamics model. Marine and Freshwater Research 51: 205–220.

Stevens, J.D. 2005 Galeorhinus galeus. In: S.L. Fowler, R.D. Cavanagh, M. Camhi, G.H. Burgess, G. Cailliet, S.V. Fordham, C.A. Simpfendorfer & J.A. Musick. 2005. Sharks, rays and chimaeras: the status of the chondrichthyan fishes. IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Stevens, J.D. & West, G.J. 1997. Investigation of school and gummy shark nursery areas in south eastern Australia. FRDC Project 93/061 July 1997. CSIRO Marine Research: Hobart.

Walker, T.I. 1998. Can shark resources be harvested sustainably? A question revisited with a review of shark fisheries. Marine and Freshwater Research 49: 553-72.

Walker, T.I. 1999. Galeorhinus galeus fisheries of the world. In Case studies of management of elasmobranch fisheries. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 378/2. 24: 728–773.

Walker, T.I., Cavanagh, R.D., Stevens, J.D., Carlisle, A.B., Chiaramonte, G.E., Domingo, A., Ebert, D.A., Mancusi, C.M., Massa, A., McCord, M., Morey, G., Paul, L.J., Serena, F. & Vooren, C.M. 2006. Galeorhinus galeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. . Downloaded on 13 August 2014.

White, W. 2008. Shark Families Heterodontidae to Pristiophoridae. pp. 32-100 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37017008

Behaviour:Migratory

Conservation:IUCN Vulnerable

Depth:2-600 m

Fishing:Commercial, gamefish, aquarium

Max Size:220 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map