Bull sharks are one of the top three sharks implicated in unprovoked fatal
attacks throughout the world.
the Atlantic coast of the United States bull sharks are found from
Massachusetts (rare north of Delaware) to the Gulf of Mexico and are
common off southeastern Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico. Off the
Pacific coast bull sharks are found from southern California (rare)
to the Gulf of California.
can be found primarily in shallow coastal waters and is common in
lagoons, bays, and river mouths. Bull sharks can also be found in
fresh water that connects with salt water and have been caught in
the Mississippi River as far upstream as Illinois.
reaches maturity at about 6 years and lives at least 14 years. Number
of pups per litter ranges from 1 to 13. Bull sharks can grow to about
to 11.5 feet in length, although they rarely grow past 9 feet.
||In the Atlantic, bull sharks are managed as part of the large coastal shark management group. (Commercial and recreational fishing regulations are in place for this species). In the Pacific, bull sharks are not landed in commercial or recreational fisheries and no management measures are in place. Finning is prohibited for all shark species.
Fast Facts About
Sharks are vulnerable to fishing pressure because they:
- Grow slowly
- Take many years
to mature (12 to 18 years in some species)
- Often reproduce
only every other year
- Have few young
per brood (only 2 pups in some species)
- Have specific requirements
for nursery areas (bays and estuaries)
- Are caught in many
types of fishing gear (hook and line, gillnet, trawls, etc.)
Sharks have adaptations allowing them to be apex predators including:
- Teeth that are
replaced throughout their life
- Sensitive smell
- Eyes that adapt
quickly to low light levels
- Lateral line receptors
that sense movement in the water
that detect electric and magnetic fields
For Further Information
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