Creature Feature – Copper Shark
This week on Creature Feature Friday we take a look at the Copper Shark.
Known by many names, including the Narrowtooth Shark, the Bronze Shark, the Bronze Whaler, and the New Zealand Whaler, Copper Sharks are a ‘Requiem Shark’ species – large sharks that are usually found in warm seas. Other examples include the Tiger Shark and Blue Shark.
Found worldwide in patchy populations, like many species, the Copper Shark is experiencing a population decline.
Scientific Name: Carcharhinus brachyurus
© Alina Pryazhkina
Copper Shark Fact File
Size: A large species, individuals can reach 3.25m in length and weigh up to 305 kg
Distribution: This coastal, offshore shark lives almost worldwide, in deep, warm temperate and subtropical waters. But while widespread, it has a patchy distribution across the North-eastern and South-western Atlantic, off southern Africa, in the North-western and eastern Pacific, and around Australia and New Zealand
Diet: This species feeds on pelagic (open water) and bottom bony fishes, cephalopods, smaller sharks, and rays
Behaviour: Copper Sharks form schools of hundreds of individuals but they are also often spotted alone. These fish are separated in space by both size and sex
IUCN Status: Vulnerable. Like other shark species, this species is taken as target and bycatch of industrial, small-scale, and recreational fisheries. It also has a low biological productivity that lowers its resilience to fishing pressure