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Also known as:

Estuary shark

Java shark

Pig-eyed shark

Common Group Name:

Sharks

Family Name:

Carcharhinidae

Genus Name:

Carcharhinus

Species Name:

Carcharhinus amboinensis


Dispatch Method:

Beware of the sharp teeth of sharks when handling them. The eating qualities of pigeye 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. 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 robust shark with a stout body and a short, blunt snout. Often mistaken for the bull shark, but the pigeye shark has a tall, erect dorsal fin that is four times the height of the second dorsal, while the dorsal fin of the bull shark is more triangular and only 3 times the height of the second dorsal.
  • Females mature at between 10-15 years old and 195-230 cm/ 6.5-8 feet long. They can live for at least 30 years, producing litters of 3 to 13 young.
  • Pigeye sharks eat a wide variety of prey, including fishes, sharks, rays and mammalian carrion.
  • This species is potentially dangerous to humans.

Fish Distribution:

  • Pigeye sharks occur throughout the inshore waters of the tropical and warm temperate Indo-Pacific region, as well as the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • This species inhabits shallow waters close inshore, near the surf line and along beaches, occasionally entering estuaries.

Fish Size Common Length:

Common between 120 and 240 cm (4-8 feet) long, maximum size around 350 cm (12 feet) long and 300 kg (650 pounds).