About the Shark Research Committee


Guest Speaker
         and
Media Consultant

Pacific Coast
Shark News

Sharks of the Pacific Coast

White Shark Biosketch

Distribution and Diet of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Predatory Behavior of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Shark/Human Interactions Along the Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast
Shark Attack
Statistics


Fatal Pacific Coast Shark Attacks
1900  —  Present

Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 2000 —

Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 1990s

Case Histories of Unprovoked White Shark Attacks:

  Divers
  Kayakers
  Surfers
  Swimmers

White Shark Interactions with Inanimate Objects

Publications

Shark Encounters:

White Shark Encounters Along the Pacific Coast

Soupfin Shark Encounter

Reporting Forms:

  Shark Attack

  Shark Encounter

  Shark Predation

Shark Web Sites:

Recommended Links

'Save the Sharks  Save the Oceans'


Sharks of the Pacific Coast of North America

At least 34 species of sharks have been recorded off the Pacific Coast of North America.  These are listed in their hypothesized phylogenetic sequence with notes on their known geographic distribution off the West Coast.  Those known or strongly suspected to have attacked humans are marked in red

Order Chlamydoselachiformes

Family Chlamydoselachidae

Chlamydoselachus anguineus - Frilled Shark
only one Pacific Coast record:  Pt. Arguello, California

Order Hexanchiformes

Family Notorynchidae

Notorynchus cepedianus - Broadnose Sevengill Shark
British Columbia to Gulf of California; most abundant off Central California

Family Hexanchidae

Hexanchus griseus - Bluntnose Sixgill Shark
Alaska to Bahia de Todos Santos, northern Baja California

Order Echinorhiniformes

Family Echinorhinidae

Echinorhinus cookei - Prickly Shark
Moolach Beach, Oregon, to Baja California and Gulf of California

Order Squaliformes

Family Squalidae

Squalus acanthias - Spiny Dogfish
Bering Sea and Alaska to central Baja California

Family Etmopteridae

Centroscyllium nigrum - Combtooth Dogfish
Southern California to Strait of Magellan, Chile

Family Somniosidae

Somniosus pacificus - Pacific Sleeper Shark
Bering Sea and Alaska to Baja California; in shallow waters in northern part of its range, but in deep water from California southward

Family Dalatiidae

Euprotomicrus bispinatus - Pygmy Shark
rare off California; found well offshore

Isistius brasiliensis - Cookiecutter Shark
Baja California south to Isla Galapagos

Order Squaltiniformes

Family Squatinidae

Squatina californica - Pacific Angel Shark
southern Alaska to Baja California and Gulf of California; to depth of 186 meters in Gulf of California

Order Heterodontiformes

Family Heterodontidae

Heterodontus francisci - Horn Shark
Central California to Gulf of California and southward, probably to Ecuador and Peru; rare north of Southern California

Heterodontus mexicanus - Mexican Horn Shark
Bahia Magdalena, southern Baja California, into the Gulf of California and southward to Peru

Order Orectolobiformes

Family Rhincodontidae

Rhincodon typus - Whale Shark
occasionally off Southern California

Family Ginglymostomatidae

Ginglymostoma cirratum - Nurse Shark
southern Baja California into Gulf of California and southward to Peru

Order Lamniformes

Family Mitsukurinidae

Mitsukurina owstoni - Goblin Shark
only one Pacific Coast record, from Southern California

Family Odontaspididae

Odontaspis ferox - Ragged-Tooth Shark
Southern California and Malpelo Island, Mexico

Family Megachasmidae

Megachasma pelagios - Megamouth Shark
Southern California

Family Alopiidae

Alopias pelagicus - Pelagic Thresher
Southern California southward; oceanic, epipelagic

Alopias superciliosus - Bigeye Thresher Shark
California to Gulf of California

Alopias vulpinus - Common Thresher
Goose Bay, British Columbia, to Chile

Alopias sp. - [undescribed species of thresher shark]
known only from Southern California

Family Pseudocarchariidae

Pseudocarcharias kamoharai - Crocodile Shark
probably off Southern California

Family Cetorhinidae

Cetorhinus maximus - Basking Shark
Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska to Gulf of California

Family Lamnidae

Lamna ditropis - Salmon Shark
Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska to central Baja California

Carcharodon carcharias - White Shark
Gulf of Alaska to Gulf of California, mostly shallow coastal waters

Isurus oxyrinchus - Shortfin Mako
British Columbia to Chile

Order Carcharhiniformes

Family Scyliorhinidae

Apristurus brunneus - Brown Catshark
southeastern Alaska to northern Baja California; deep (137-1298 meters)

Apristurus kampae - Longnose Catshark
Cape Blanco, Oregon, southward to Southern California and Gulf of California;deep (180-1888 meters)

Cephaloscyllium ventriosum - Swell Shark
Monterey Bay, Central California, to Acapulco, Mexico

Cephalurus cephalus - Lollipop Catshark
southern Baja California and Gulf of California

Galeus piperatus - Peppered Catshark
Gulf of California

Parmaturus xaniurus - Filetail Catshark
Cape Foulweather, Oregon, to Baja California and Gulf of California

Family Triakidae

Mustelus californicus - Grey Smoothhound
Cape Mendocino, Northern California, to Mazatlan, Mexico

Mustelus dorsalis - Sharptooth Smoothhound
Gulf of California

Mustelus henlei - Brown Smoothhound
Coos Bay, Oregon, to Gulf of California

Mustelus lunulatus - Sicklefin Smoothhound
San Diego, California, to Peru

Triakis semifasciata - Leopard Shark
Oregon to Baja California and northern Gulf of California

Family Galeorhinidae

Galeorhinus galeus - Soupfin Shark
northern British Columbia to Bahia San Juanico, central Baja California

Family Galeocerdidae

Galeocerdo cuvier - Tiger Shark
Southern California; possibly north to southeastern Alaska

Family Rhizoprionodontidae

Rhizoprionodon longurio - Pacific Sharpnose Shark
Southern California to Peru

Family Sphyrnidae

Sphyrna corona - Mallethead Shark
Gulf of California and southern Mexico to Peru

Sphyrna lewini - Scalloped Hammerhead
Santa Barbara, Southern California, southward

Sphyrna media - Scoophead Shark
Gulf of California to Ecuador, probably to northern Peru

Sphyrna mokarran - Great Hammerhead
southen Baja California southward to Peru

Sphyrna tiburo - Bonnethead
San Diego, California, to Peru

Sphyrna zygaena - Smooth Hammerhead
Central California to Gulf of California

Family Carcharhinidae

Carcharhinus albimarginatus - Silvertip Shark
southern Baja California southward to Colombia

Carcharhinus altimus - Bignose Shark
Gulf of California to southern Mexico

Carcharhinus brachyurus - Copper Shark
Southern California to Gulf of California

Carcharhinus falciformis - Silky Shark
southern Baja California southward to Peru

Carcharhinus galapagensis - Galapagos Shark
southern Baja California southward to Colombia

Carcharhinus leucas - Bull Shark
southern Baja California southward to Peru

Carcharhinus limbatus - Blacktip Shark
San Diego, California, southward

Carcharhinus longimanus - Oceanic Whitetip
Monterey, Central California, to Gaviota, Southern California and southward

Carcharhinus obscurus - Dusky Shark
Redondo Beach, Southern California to Gulf of California

Carcharhinus plumbeus - Sandbar Shark
southern tip of Baja Peninsula and Revillagigedo Islands

Carcharhinus porosus - Smalltail Shark
Gulf of California southward to Peru

Nasolamia velox - Whitenose Shark
central Baja California and Gulf of California south to Peru

Negaprion brevirostris - Lemon Shark
southern Baja California and Gulf of California to Ecuador

Prionace glauca - Blue Shark
Gulf of Alaska to Chile

 

 

 


The material contained on this Web site is shared as a public service and to further the scientific goals of the Shark Research Committee.  All text and images on this Web site are the exclusive property of the Shark Research Committee.  Information on this Web site may be used for private study, but may not otherwise be published, duplicated, or modified in any way without the prior written permission of Ralph S. Collier.