Harrisson's Dogfish, Centrophorus harrissoni McCulloch 1915

Other Names: Dumb Gulper Shark, Dumb Shark, Endeavour Dogfish, Harrisons Deepsea Dogfish, Harrisons Dogfish

Harrisson's Dogfish, Centrophorus harrissoni. Source: CSIRO National Fish Collection. License: CC BY Attribution


A small grey to greyish-brown shark with a paler underside, and a dark anterior blotch and a white margin on the dorsal fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Centrophorus harrissoni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Aug 2021, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3420

Harrisson's Dogfish, Centrophorus harrissoni McCulloch 1915

More Info


Off the Clarence River, New South Wales, to off South East Cape, Tasmania, and from Fraser Seamount, Queensland, to Taupo Seamount, New South Wales; also off Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. Elsewhere the species occurs in the south-west Pacific (New Zealand, Norfolk Ridge, Kermadec Ridge).


Head long & robust, eyes large; snout long & flattened, mouth large; two dorsal fins, the first larger than the second, each with a short spine; upper caudal-fin lobe longer than lower lobe.


Females breed at about 17 years of age and produce only one or two young every three years.


Harrisson’s Dogfish were historically targeted for their liver oil in Australian state and Commonwealth fisheries, and suffered dramatic population declines during the 1980s and 1990s. Although targeted fishing had ended by 2005, the species has very low fecundity and populations may take many years, even decades, to recover. 
To halt the decline and support the recovery of Harrisson’s Dogfish and Southern Dogfish in offshore waters managed by the Commonwealth, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) implemented the Upper Slope Dogfish Management Strategy. A network of areas − large enough to ensure males and females can meet to breed − were completely closed to fishing. Electronic tagging at the largest closure off South Australia indicates most Southern Dogfish stay inside the closure. Outside the closures, live sharks taken as bycatch are released. Restrictions implemented in New South Wales restrictions limit the combined catches of Harrisson’s Dogfish to 15kg per day in trawl, trap and line fisheries.


Harrisson’s Dogfish populations are estimated to have declined by more than 90% in parts of their range off southern New South Wales and eastern Victoria. As a result, the species was listed as Conservation Dependent under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act in June 2013.

Species Citation

Centrophorus harrissoni McCulloch 1915, Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 3(3): 99, pl. 14(1-4). Type locality: near Gabo Island, Victoria.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Harrisson's Dogfish, Centrophorus harrissoni McCulloch 1915


Andrew, N.L., Graham, K.J., Hodgson, K.E. & Gordon, G.N.G. 1997. Changes after twenty years in relative abundance and size composition of commercial fishes caught during fishery independent surveys on SEF trawl grounds. NSW Fisheries Final Report Series No. 1 FRDC Project No. 96/139

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

Daley, R., Stevens, J. & Graham, K. 2002. Catch analysis and productivity of the deepwater dogfish resource in southern Australia. Report by CSIRO Marine Research and NSW Fisheries to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. FRDC Project 1998/108.

Daley, R.K., Stevens, J.D., Last, P.R. & Yearsley, G.K. 2002. Field Guide to Australian Sharks & Rays. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 84 pp.

Duffy, C.A.J. 2007. First record of Centrophorus harrissoni from New Zealand, with observations on squamation in Centrophoridae (Squaliformes). New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 41: 163-173.

Fenton, G.E. 2001. Radiometric Ageing Of Sharks. FRDC Final Report, 1994/021. Fisheries Research & Development Corporation, Canberra.

Graham, K. 2013. Centrophorus harrissoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T41740A16726236. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T41740A16726236.en. Downloaded on 16 August 2018.

Graham, K.J., Andrew, N.L. & Hodgson, K.E. 2001. Changes in the relative abundances of sharks and rays on Australian South East Fishery trawl grounds after twenty years of fishing. Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 52: 549-561.

Graham, K.G. & Daley, R.K. 2011. Distribution, reproduction and population structure of three gulper sharks (Centrophorus, Centrophoridae) in south-east Australian waters. Marine and Freshwater Research 62(6): 583-595 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF10158

Graham, K.J., Wood, B.R. & Andrew, N.L. 1997. The 1996-97 Survey of Upper Slope Trawling Grounds between Sydney and Gabo Island (and Comparisons with the 1976-77 Survey). Kapala Cruise Report No. 117, NSW Fisheries, Cronulla, Australia.

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.

Macbeth, W.G., Vandenberg, M. & Graham, K.J. 2008. Identifying Sharks and Rays; a Guide for Commercial Fishers. Sydney : New South Wales Department of Primary Industry 71 pp.

McCulloch, A.R. 1915. Report on some fishes obtained by the F.I.S. Endeavour on the coasts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South and South-Western Australia. Part 3. Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 3(3): 97-170 figs 1-3 pls 13-37.

Stead, D.G. 1963. Sharks and Rays of Australian Seas. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 211 pp. 63 figs.

Tilzey, R.D.J. & Rowling, K.R. 2001. History of Australia's South East Fishery: a scientist's perspective. Marine and Freshwater Research 52: 361-375.

White, W.T., Ebert, D.A. & Compagno, L.J.V. 2008. Description of two new species of gulper sharks, genus Centrophorus (Chondrichthyes: Squaliformes: Centrophoridae) from Australia. pp. 1-21 in Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds). Descriptions of new Australian chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 022: 1-358

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37020010

Conservation:IUCN Endangered; EPBC Conservation Dependent

Depth:220-1050 m

Fishing:Fished commercially


Max Size:114 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map