Overview Research Education Conservation Monterey Bay Biology Images Staff Shop Contact Us

Soupfin Shark - Galeorhinus Zyopterus

Soupfins are recognizable by the pronounced spiracles behind each eye and the over sized terminal caudal tab. It reaches a length of about 6' feet and is a coppery-bronze to brownish gray in coloration, paler below. Common off the California coast. Range extends from British Columbia to Baja California.
Soupfins are a coastal species usually captured in 10-50 fathoms, except in nursery areas which are believed to be in large sheltered bays. Some evidence suggests that they have deep water capabilities, as there are recorded commercial captures at 225 fathoms. Feeds on wide variety of prey items. Soupfins have been described as benthic blue sharks. They are known to feed on squid, sardines anchovies as well as flat fish like sand-dabs and halibut. Soupfins appear to move north in the summer and southerly in the fall and winter but this is very tentative. In the north males are more abundant throughout the year while females are predominant in the south.

Reproductive development is oviparous. Males are believed to mature at approx. 60" inches, females at around 70" inches. Some mating is known to take place in the spring and gestation is believed to be about 12 months. Pups are born around 1 foot in length. Litters can range from 6 to 50 pups with the average being 25 to 30. While most of the nursery areas are believed to be south of Pt conception there are important nursery areas in the San Francisco, Humbolt and Tomales bays.
Historically regarded as California's #1 shark fishery there is a well established market for soupfin shark as a source of thick steaks and dried fins, moreover, there was a long standing liver market which crashed due to resource depletion shortly after world war II.

[ home ] [ contact us ] [ support us ] [ shop ]
© Copyright 1990-2004 PSRF
All rights reserved.
Site Development by IT Director