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Also known as:

Hammerhead shark

Kidney-headed shark

Common Group Name:

Sharks

Family Name:

Sphyrnidae

Genus Name:

Sphyrna

Species Name:

Sphyrna lewini


Dispatch Method:

Beware of the sharp teeth of sharks when handling them. The eating qualities of hammerhead sharks less than 120 cm (4 feet) long can be improved by killing them humanely by iki jime or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding. Hammerhead sharks larger than around 120 cm (4 feet) long should be dispatched with a captive bolt tool or firearm (with appropriate safety precautions).


Fish Description:

  • A large hammerhead shark, olive green, bronze or brown-grey above becoming white below.
  • The front margin of the head is scalloped in adults with a pronounced central indentation.
  • The first dorsal fin is moderately tall with a straight rear margin and the anal fin also has a straight rear margin.
  • Females mature at between 5-10 years old and 180-240 cm/6-8 feet long. They can live for at least 35 years, producing litters averaging around 17 young.
  • Scalloped hammerheads eat a wide variety of fishes, sharks, and rays.
  • This species is potentially dangerous to humans.

Fish Distribution:

  • Scalloped hammerhead sharks occur worldwide throughout tropical and warm temperate waters from shallow inshore waters to offshore at depths of at least 1000 m (3000 feet).

Fish Size Common Length:

Common between 180 and 270 cm (6-9 feet) long, maximum size at least 430 cm (14 feet) long and 250 kg (550 pounds).