Notorynchus Cepedianus



Nearshore, Offshore

130 - 230 pounds

57" - 118"

Broadnose Sevengill Shark

Also Known As: Sevengill Shark, Bluntnose Sevengill Shark  

Broadnose Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) Description

The broadnose sevengill shark gets its name from its two predominant features — its wide head and its sevengill slits. Because of the number of its gill slits (most sharks have five), it is in the Guinness Book of World Records, along with the sharpnose sevengill shark.

The broadnose sevengill shark formerly had the nickname cow shark. Perhaps it is because of its thick body and the small black spots that are speckled all over its back and sides, which can range from silvery gray to brown in coloring. Its back coloring allows it to blend with the dark waters when viewed from above.

Unlike most shark species that have two dorsal fins, the broadnose sevengill shark only has one.


Size and Diet

At birth, the broadnose sevengill shark measures 15 to 17 inches. As it matures, it reaches almost 5 feet for the male and 7 feet for the female. The biggest on record was found to be 9.8 feet in length. The oldest broadnose sevengill shark lived up to 49 years.

The broadnose sevengill shark is a predator, one of the most frequent ones in shallow waters. It has been found to feed mostly on mammals, but will also consume other sharks, rays, and other fish. This species is also known to stealthily hunt in packs when targeting larger prey.


Interesting Facts about Broadnose Sevengill Sharks

  • Because of its seven gills, experts believe that the broadnose sevengill shark species are related to ancient sharks from the Jurassic period.
  • The broadnose sevengill shark is known for its stellar swimming. It can be aggressive once provoked. It has been connected to attacks towards divers in captivity, but attacks on people in open waters have yet to be verified.
  • The broadnose sevengill shark takes quite a while to digest its food after eating. It can go on for weeks without having to prey for food.
  • In some regions, the broadnose sevengill is caught for its liver oil, meat, and leather.


Broadnose Sevengill Shark - Fishing Technique

Fishing for the broadnose sevengill shark is a challenge because there are very few of its species and is known to mature slowly. However, that makes it all the more a gamefish that attracts many serious anglers. It does give a good fight when caught, but is not as strong as other large fish. It is very flexible, though. It can bite its tail to free itself from capture.

The best way to catch this fish is on a 40- to 50-pound tackle baited with whole fish such as sardines or mackerel. Even salmon bellies will do.

Surf rigs will also work well with fishing for the broadnose sevengill shark. Make sure to use rigs made with wire or cable as the teeth of this shark species can cut through the rig.

The best season to fish for this shark species is spring when they gather up for breeding and stay on for several days. Watch out for them in areas rich in kelp close to the shore.


Habitat and Distribution

The broadnose sevengill shark often occurs inshore, but larger and older ones tend to live in deeper offshore environments. This shark species likes to swim slowly near the bottom though, but it also makes the occasional surface trip to hunt for food. It can also be found in shallow waters, continental shelves, bays, and estuaries.

A large number of these shark species can be spotted in San Francisco Bay, Tomales Bay, and Humboldt Bay. They have also been commonly found near the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. It can also be found in the temperate waters of the western Pacific, Indian, and southern Atlantic Oceans.