Carcharhinus Obscurus



Onshore, Offshore

350 - 765 pounds

130" - 168"

Dusky Shark Game Fish Quality Poor
Dusky Shark Meal Quality Very Good

Dusky Shark

Dusky Shark
Also Known As: Brown Shark, Bronze Whaler, Common Whaler, Shovelnose, Bay Shark and River Whaler

Dusky Shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) Fish Description

Also known as brown shark, bronze whaler, common whaler, shovelnose, bay shark, and river whaler, the Dusky Shark is an endangered species of requiem sharks. 

The most distinct feature of dusky sharks is their round snouts. They have slender bodies and long sickle-shaped pectoral fins. Their first dorsal fins have slopes. They possess interdorsal ridges on their backs. Their color is usually blue-gray to dark-gray on the dorsal side and white on the ventral side. The Dusky Sharks have triangular saw-edged upper teeth.


Dusky Shark Diet

Dusty Sharks have a wide variety of choices for their diet. They particularly love cephalopods, bony fishes (like bluefish), rays, and fellow sharks. They also feast on sea turtles, crustaceans, marine mammals, and even carrion and garbage. Also part of the Dusky Sharks’ favorites is the pelagic fishes like tuna, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and flying fish, among others.


Dusky Shark Size

Dusty Sharks can grow up to 14 feet or 148 inches and weigh up to 765 pounds. This requiem shark is one of the largest in its family. Female Dusky Sharks are generally larger than the males; the former can measure up to 11.8 feet while the latter, 11.1 feet.


Interesting Facts About the Dusky Shark 

  • Dusky Sharks reach adulthood at around 20 years old, making them one of the slowest-growing and/or latest-maturing sharks. They may live up to 50 years.
  • They live a nomadic and migratory lifestyle. Female Dusky Sharks are capable of storing sperm for a long time since they rarely encounter potential mates.
  • Dusky Sharks are considered dangerous to humans due to their huge size.
  • They can eat as much as one-tenth of their total weight in one sitting.
  • The International Shark Attack File attributed six attacks on people and boats to the Dusky Sharks; one of them was fatal and three were unprovoked.


Dusky Shark — Fishing Techniques

Dusky Sharks are popular in the shark fin trade. Their prized fins are large and boast several internal rays, making them one of the most-sought after shark species. They are also fished for their meat which is made into leather and processed for vitamins (liver oil). Recreational anglers love Dusky Sharks because catching such a large target is a huge feat. Dusky Sharks used to be part of the shark-fishing tournaments.

Anglers capture Dusky Sharks via bycatch on longlines, nets and trawls usually meant for swordfish and tuna. They often have a high mortality rate when caught. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has branded Dusky Sharks as Endangered worldwide since their population has been steadily collapsing over the decade.


Dusky Shark Habitat and Distribution

Dusky Sharks thrive in warm-temperate and tropical continental seas globally with temperatures ranging from 66 to 82°F. They can be found from the coast to the outer continental shelf up to the adjacent pelagic waters as deep as 1,300 feet. Dusky Sharks share the oceanic waters with their cousins: the inshore sandbar sharks and the pelagic silky sharks.

They abound the waters from the western and central Mediterranean Sea to the Canary Islands, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and even in Spain, Portugal, Madeira, and Morocco. They are also sometimes sighted on the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and even the Red Sea. They can also be found in the Pacific Ocean as well as countries like Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.