Salmon shark

Lamna ditropis

Salmon shark

Salmon shark

Learn about the salmon shark and view a potential first-ever recording of a newly observed salmon shark behaviour.

If you encounter a salmon shark, we encourage you to report the encounter.

Species information

The salmon shark Lamna ditropis is a common pelagic (living from the ocean surface to 375 metres below) species. You can identify them by their:

  • short snout
  • 2 horizontal keels just prior to tail fin
  • short and heavy body (length of up to 3 metres)
  • teeth that are awl-like with small sharp denticles on each shoulder of the main point
  • colouring that is black or dark grey on the top that abruptly changes to white blotches on the bottom

2019 salmon shark behaviour recorded

Video: First ever footage of a specific salmon shark behaviour

Video: First ever footage of a specific salmon shark behaviour. Credits: Shelton Dupreez.

The 2019 Pacific seamounts expedition team captured what is thought to be the first-ever footage of a specific salmon shark behaviour.

The recording shows a salmon shark repeatedly rubbing itself against a floating log covered in barnacles. The team hypothesized that the shark was removing parasites from its skin.

This event was observed by:

  • Canadian Coast Guard crew
  • Josh Watts (Nuu-chah-nulth Nations)
  • Cherisse Du Preez (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Photo gallery