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Salmon Shark
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Scientific Name Lamna ditropis
Conservation Status Least Concern
Family Chordata
Habitat North Pacific
Food Fish, Squid


The salmon shark, Lamna ditropis, is a species of shark occurring in the north Pacific ocean. As an apex predator, the salmon shark feeds on salmon, and also on squid, sablefish, and herring. Salmon shark are remarkable for their ability to maintain body temperature, known as homeothermy, and an as-yet unexplained variability in the sex ratio between the eastern north pacific and western north pacific.

It is common in continental offshore waters but range inshore to just off beaches. They occur singly or in schools or feeding aggregations of several individuals.

Salmon shark occur in the northern Pacific Ocean, in both coastal waters and in the open ocean. Animals are believed to range as far south as the Sea of Japan and southern California, and as far north as 65 degrees north in Alaska. Individuals have been observed diving as deeply as 668 m, however they are believed to spend most of their time in epipelagic waters.


There is no current commercial fishery for salmon shark, however, they are occasionally caught as bycatch in commercial salmon gillnet fisheries where they are usually discarded. Commercial fisheries regard salmon sharks as nuisances, since they can damage fishing gear, and consume portions of the commercial catch. There are some reports of fishermen deliberately injuring salmon sharks.

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