You can sponsor this page

Cetorhinus maximus  (Gunnerus, 1765)

Basking shark
Upload your photos and videos
Pictures | Google image
Image of Cetorhinus maximus (Basking shark)
Cetorhinus maximus
Picture by Murch, A.


Australia country information

Common names: Basking shark, Sunfish
Occurrence: native
Salinity: marine
Abundance: scarce (very unlikely) | Ref: Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: no uses
Comments: Recorded from southern localities between Busselton in Western Australia and Port Stevens in New South Wales, including Tasmania.
National Checklist:
Country Information: httpss://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html
National Fisheries Authority: https://www.csiro.au/
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994
National Database:

Classification / Names

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Lamniformes (Mackerel sharks) > Cetorhinidae (Basking sharks)
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL

Common names from other countries

Main reference

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 1,520 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 247); 980.0 cm TL (female); common length : 700 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6077); max. published weight: 4.0 t (Ref. 4645)

Length at first maturity
Lm ?, range 500 - 980 cm

Environment

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 2000 m (Ref. 26346), usually 0 - ? m (Ref. 55197)

Climate / Range

Temperate; 6°C - 24°C (Ref. 88171), preferred 17°C (Ref. 107945); 75°N - 58°S, 112°E - 42°E (Ref. 84930)

Distribution

Cosmopolitan, frequent in cold to warm temperate waters; rare in equatorial waters (Ref. 48844). Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139). At risk of extinction by overfishing because of low to very low productivity (Ref. 36717). Appendix II (Mediterranean) of the Bern Convention (2002). Appendix I and II of the Bonn Convention (2009). International trade restricted (CITES Appendix II, since 28.5.2003).
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Short description

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. Distinguished from all other sharks by the enormous gill slits practically encircling the head; dermal denticle gill rakers; pointed snout; huge, sub terminal mouth with minute hooked teeth; caudal peduncle with strong lateral keels, and lunate caudal fin. Body covered with placoid scales. Blackish to grey-brown, grey, or blue-grey, often with irregular white blotches under the head and abdomen (Ref. 43278). Also Ref. 309, 5983.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

The second largest shark, reportedly reaching 1,220-1,520 cm TL (Ref. 247). Thought to live up to 50 years (Ref. 9030, 89083). Semi-oceanic or oceanic species, highly migratory (Ref. 43278). Found on continental and insular shelves, offshore and often close to land, just off the surf zone; enters enclosed bays (Ref. 247). Coastal-pelagic at 1 meter to unknown depths, probably epipelagic (Ref. 58302). Occurs singly, in pairs or groups of 3 or more, or in huge schools (group of up to 100 individuals has been reported) (Ref. 6871, 43278). Prefers water temperature between 8-16 °C (Ref. 88171). Makes extensive horizontal and vertical movements along the continental shelf and shelf edge to utilize productive feeding areas (Ref. 50200). During the summer months, it is found near the surface of boreal to warm-temperate areas (Ref. 43278) feeding on zooplankton by filtering (Ref. 88781). Found in deeper waters during winter (Ref. 6871, 50200, 58302). Undertakes long transoceanic migrations (e.g. from the British Isles to Newfoundland, Canada (Ref. 88824)) and moves between the northern and southern hemisphere in tropical mesopelagic water (Ref. 88825). These migrations have been found to cover distances of over 9,000 km. May form segregations by size or sex (Ref. 88171). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Regarded as ordinarily harmless and inoffensive but potentially dangerous if attacked (particularly when harpooned) (Ref. 247). In Bay of Fundy, Canada parasitic lampreys have been found attached to the back of basking sharks and sucking their blood (Ref. 83375). Utilized fresh, frozen and dried, or salted (Ref. 9987). Also valued for its liver for oil, fins for soup, hide for leather and carcass for fishmeal (Ref. 247). May be a potential source of anti-carcinoma drugs (Ref. 6034, 6035). Used in Chinese medicine (Ref. 12166). Threatened due to bycatch fisheries (Ref. 83294).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2ad+3d)

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 247)



Human uses

Fisheries: commercial

More information

Common names
Synonyms
Metabolism
Predators
Ecotoxicology
Reproduction
Maturity
Spawning
Fecundity
Eggs
Egg development
References
Aquaculture
Aquaculture profile
Strains
Genetics
Allele frequencies
Heritability
Diseases
Processing
Mass conversion
Collaborators
Pictures
Stamps, Coins
Sounds
Ciguatera
Speed
Swim. type
Gill area
Otoliths
Brains
Vision

Tools

Special reports

Download XML

Internet sources

BHL | Check for other websites | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | Sea Around Us | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record | Fishtrace

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805)
PD50 = 1.5000 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)

Trophic Level (Ref. 69278)
3.2   ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.

Resilience (Ref. 69278)
Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec=1-2; Musick et al. 2000 (Ref. 36717))

Vulnerability (Ref. 59153)
Very high vulnerability (86 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Low