This is a continuation of our What Sharks are in the South Carolina Waters Series. This blog is about Sharpnose Sharks. If you haven’t been shark fishing, you are in for an exciting fishing adventure.
The other sharks highlighted in this series are:
The Sharpnose Shark is a small, slim shark which has a distinctly long, pointed snout, and large eyes. It likes surf zones and estuaries.
Atlantic sharpnose sharks get their name from their long snout, which is longer than the width of the mouth. The other common names used for this shark are:
- Atlantic sharpnose shark
- Newfoundland shark
- sharp-nosed shark
- white shark
A sharpnose shark’s presence is:
- brownish-gray body with scattered white spots and grows to about 4 feet.
- The snout is long and sharply rounded
- Dorsal and caudal fins with black edges, especially in juveniles
- First dorsal fin starts well behind the pectoral fin
- Second dorsal fin begins over the middle of the anal fin
- Adults may have small white spots on sides
- No inter-dorsal ridge
Sharpnose sharks live in coastal, shallow waters from New Jersey to Florida, often near surf zones, enclosed bays, sounds or harbors and marine to brackish estuaries. Adults also found offshore.
The sharpnose shark feeds on small fish such as small bony fishes, abalone, conch, snails, slugs, limpets, cowries, crabs, segmented worms and shrimps.
Similar Species: Blacknose shark, C. acronotus (has dark snout tip)
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) listed the Atlantic sharpnose shark as “Least Concern” due to its abundance within its western North Atlantic range. The IUCN is a global union of states, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations in a partnership that assesses the conservation status of species.
While its proximity to surfers would seem to suggest that it is aggressive after human prey, the situation is actually reversed. People hunt the sharpnose shark for consumption.
Atlantic sharpnose sharks can pose a moderate threat to humans. However, most sharpnose to humans are nonfatal and not serious.
Life expectancy is up to 12 years.
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