Broadnose Sevengill Shark


Species⁢ Name: Broadnose Sevengill Shark

Family Name: Hexanchidae

The Broadnose Sevengill Shark (scientific name Notorynchus cepedianus) is a prehistoric-looking predator that, ‌true to its name, can ⁢be easily identified by the seven gill slits on each side of its head, as opposed to ​the ‍five found ​in most other sharks. This unique feature belongs to a family of sharks ⁢known as⁤ Hexanchidae, ‌or Cow Sharks, an ancient ​lineage that can trace its history back to the Jurassic period⁢ (Morey, 2021).

Conservation ​Status

Current status: Data Deficient

Conservation ‍efforts

The ⁢International Union⁣ for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red⁣ List currently‍ categorizes the Broadnose Sevengill ⁣Shark⁤ as “Data​ Deficient”, meaning there’s insufficient information to⁣ make an accurate assessment of its ‍status. However, commercial fishing, loss of habitat, and climate change ​are major threats⁤ to this species.


Length‌ (Average) Length (Range) Weight (Average) Weight (Range) Average Lifespan
1.5 meters up to 3 meters 30 kg up to 107 kg 30 years



Broadnose Sevengill Sharks have⁤ a circumpolar distribution and can be​ found in‍ temperate seas around the world but are uncommon in tropical seas. Countries where they can be observed include​ Argentina,‍ Australia, New Zealand,‍ South Africa, and the ​United States,⁢ especially in California, Oregon, and⁤ Washington (Compagno, 1984).

Migration patterns

Little ​is known about the migration patterns⁤ of Broadnose Sevengill Sharks, though research suggests mature females may⁣ migrate to ⁤inshore waters for parturition, while males are thought to ‌remain in⁢ deeper waters (Ebert, 2013).


  • Water⁣ type: Saline, Marine
  • Depth range: Primarily 0-136 meters but have been reported up to 600 meters

These sharks prefer shallow coastal‍ waters but have also been known to inhabit estuaries and sometimes enter freshwater. They are benthic creatures that dwell near ​the sea floor.

When and Where to‍ See

They are seen year-round, but ⁣their presence ​tends to increase from spring through ‌fall. ⁢Dusk and dawn ⁤are the best times to spot them when⁤ they come⁣ inshore to feed‍ on seals, sea lions, and other large⁣ prey.

Best Fishing Locations

Some​ popular locations to fish for Broadnose Sevengill Sharks ‍include:

  1. Pier fishing in San Francisco Bay, California
  2. La Jolla, San Diego, California
  3. Wellington Harbor, New Zealand
  4. False ‌Bay, South Africa
  5. Hobart, Tasmania
  6. Estuaries in ‌the south-east of Tasmania

How to Catch

Preferred bait or lures

Sevengill Sharks tend to be opportunistic‍ feeders, so oily fish baits such as ​sardines, and mackerel are‍ effective.

Identification Guide

Broadnose Sevengill Sharks can be identified by their characteristic ‍elongated, cylindrical bodies, broad heads, and blunt noses. Their coloration ranges ‍from pale to slaty ‌gray, ⁢sometimes with a bronze hue, and their ventral‍ parts are ⁣lighter. The most distinguishable feature,​ as the ⁤name⁢ suggests, is the seven gill slits.

Culinary (if applicable)

Sevengill Shark meat is ‌sold fresh, frozen ⁤and‍ even ⁢smoked‌ for human consumption. The taste is similar to other types of shark meat, mildly sweet with a firm, ⁣dense texture. It’s important to note that sharks should be properly cleaned and ‌stored ​to⁢ avoid ‌the ⁣risk⁢ of squalene oxidation which can lead to a⁣ strong ⁢ammonia-like⁢ smell and taste.

Additional Information


Diet includes bony fishes, other sharks and rays, carrion, ⁢seals, and squids. Reproduction is ovoviviparous, with⁣ the eggs hatching in the mother’s​ body⁢ before the babies are born.

Predators and Threats

Main ⁣threats include larger shark species. Sevengills are⁣ also regularly caught by commercial fisheries around the⁤ world, often as bycatch, and ‌their meat and ⁣fins are used ‌for food ‌and medicinal purposes.

References⁤ and Further Reading

“Broadnose Sevengill⁤ Shark” – ​Florida Museum

“Notorynchus cepedianus (Broadnose Sevengill Shark)” – IUCN Red ​List

“Sevengill Sharks, Notorynchus cepedianus” – ⁢Marinebio Conservation Society

Remember to always treat marine‍ wildlife‌ with respect and only fish ‍in⁤ allowable regions​ with the proper⁣ permits