Greenland Shark


Commonly known as the Greenland Shark, the species belongs to the family ⁤of Somniosidae which is often referred to as the sleeper sharks⁤ due to their slow speed and apparent laziness.

Conservation Status

Currently, the Greenland Shark is listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation ​of Nature (IUCN). Conservation efforts are largely focused on preserving the​ species through habitat protection.


Stats Average Range
Length 13 ft 6.5 – 24 ft
Weight 880 lbs 400 – 2200 lbs
Average Lifespan 200‌ Years 100 – 400 years


Regions/Countries: Greenland Shark is primarily found in the⁣ cold waters⁢ of the North Atlantic Ocean and ‍Arctic Oceans.
Migration patterns: ‍ Limited information is available about‌ their migration patterns due to the difficulty in ⁣tracking this deep-sea species.


Water ‌type: Salt water
Depth range: ⁣ Between 0 – 2200 meters
Temperature range:⁢ -1.8​ – 12 degrees Celsius

When and Where to See

Due to the elusive nature ⁢and ‍deep-sea habitat of the Greenland Shark, they are rarely seen by humans. There have been some sightings in Canadian waters during the summer months.

Best ⁢Fishing Locations

Greenland Sharks are‍ not typically fished ‌for sport due to its deep-sea habit. Instead, they are often caught⁣ as bycatch in deep-sea trawls.

How to ‌Catch

Due to the deep-sea habitat of the Greenland Shark, standard fishing techniques aren’t typically successful. They are usually caught using deep-sea nets or long-lines.

Identification Guide

Greenland Sharks are typically dark gray to black in ​color, with small eyes and a short snout. They possess a conical body covered with small, non-overlapping scales. The shark’s elongated pectoral and dorsal⁢ fins and‌ long, robust tail aid its slow and steady swimming.


Greenland Shark meat is ‍toxic when fresh due to high levels of urea and trimethylamine oxide, but can be eaten when properly prepared via a traditional fermenting ⁢process or by boiling it several times. It has a⁣ unique, ammonia-rich taste and has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for centuries.

Additional Information


Greenland Sharks are noted ⁤for their ⁣sluggish behavior and mysterious lifestyle. ‍Given ‍the extreme depths they inhabit, very little is known about their feeding habits and mating rituals.

Predators ‍and Threats

Predators ⁣are unknown due to the depths they inhabit but potential threats could include larger sharks and killer whales. They also face threats due to bycatch.

Cultural/ Historical Significance

Historically, Greenland Sharks have had significance in the culture and folklore of Inuit communities. Its skin ⁣was used​ to make boots and its teeth were ⁣used as cutting tools.

References and Further Reading

  • Borucinska, J., Whiteley, H., & Benz, G. (1998). Ocular lesions associated with attachment of the ‍parasitic copepod Ommatokoita elongata.
  • MacNeil, M., McMeans, B., Hussey, N., Vecsei, P., Svavarsson, J., Kovacs, K., ⁤Lydersen, C., Treble, M., Skomal, G., Ramsey, M., & Fisk, A. (2012). Biology of the Greenland shark Somniosus ‍microcephalus.