Common name: Gulper sharks



Medium-sized bottom-dwelling sharks with two widely-spaced dorsal fins each preceded by a grooved spine, no anal fin, large spiracles, a subterminal notch on the caudal fin and greenish or yellowish eyes. 

The blade-like teeth are similar in both jaws, those in the lower jaw being much larger than the upper jaw teeth.

Gulper sharks are targeted in commercial fisheries and have been over-fished in some parts of the world.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Gulper sharks, CENTROPHORIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Mar 2023,

More Info

Family Taxonomy

A small family with two genera and about 17 species. Both genera and nine species are found in Australian waters.

Family Distribution

Found worldwide on the continental shelf and slope of all oceans.

Family Size

Maximum length 1.7 m.

Family Commercial

Targeted and taken as bycatch in commercial longline, trawl and gillnet fisheries.


Dianne J. Bray


Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(1) pp. 1-249

Compagno, L.J.V. & Niem, V.H. 1998. Hexanchidae, Echinorhinidae, Squalidae. pp. 1208-1232 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.

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

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.