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Also known as:

Fossil shark

Weasel shark

Common Group Name:

Sharks

Family Name:

Hemigaleidae

Genus Name:

Hemipristis

Species Name:

Hemipristis elongata


Dispatch Method:

Beware of the sharp teeth of sharks when handling them. The eating qualities of snaggletooth 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 light grey or bronze coloured weasel shark with no prominent markings.
  • Snaggletooth sharks have a broadly rounded snout, long curved, saw-edged teeth in the upper jaw, and hooked lower teeth protruding from the lower jaw.
  • Females mature at 100 -110 cm (around 3.5 feet) long and produce litters of 2 to 11 young.
  • Feeds mainly on fishes, but adults of this species are potentially dangerous to humans, whilst sharks of all sizes can inflict a nasty bite if handled carelessly.

Fish Distribution:

  • Snaggletooth sharks occur throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region from East Africa , to the Phillippines, including China and northern Australia (from Western Australia to Queensland).
  • This species occurs in shallow waters close inshore to depths of around 130 meters (400 feet).

Fish Size Common Length:

Usually encountered between 100 cm and 180 cm (3 -6 feet) long, maximum size around 240 cm (8 feet) long.