Smooth Hammerhead


The Smooth ​Hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena) is a unique species ⁤of shark belonging to the Sphyrnidae family. This species is notable for its distinctive ‘hammer-like’​ head shape, which gives ‌it its name and sets it​ apart from most other species of shark.

Conservation Status

The Smooth Hammerhead is currently categorized as ‘Vulnerable’ on the International Union ​for ‌Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red ​List. ⁣This status means the species may become endangered if threats to⁣ its survival continue. Conservation⁢ efforts are actively ongoing, with significant emphasis on monitoring and ⁢regulating fishing activities, ‍as well as initiatives aimed at habitat preservation and ⁤public education.


Statistic Average Range
Length 8.2 ⁣ft 13.1 – 20 ft
Weight 400 lbs 200 – 900 lbs
Lifespan 35 ​years N/A


Smooth Hammerheads are found worldwide, ⁢primarily‍ in temperate and tropical waters. ‌Evidence shows that these sharks undertake seasonal migrations from the equator towards the poles during the⁣ warmer months.


Smooth Hammerheads are ​predominantly found in marine waters, although they have occasionally been spotted in brackish water. They inhabit depths from the surface to over ⁤100m deep ⁢and prefer a temperature range‌ of 54°F to ⁣75°F.

When and ‍Where ‌to See

The⁢ Smooth Hammerhead ‌displays seasonal patterns. In ⁢warmer months, they migrate from equatorial regions towards‌ the⁢ poles. Hence, they are⁤ more visible during⁤ this period. They⁢ are most active at dusk and dawn.

Best Fishing Locations

  • Off the coast of South Africa
  • Gulf of California, Mexico
  • Nova Scotia, Canada
  • New Zealand⁢ waters
  • Australia’s east coast
  • Bahamas
  • Hawaii, USA
  • Costa Rica
  • Maldives
  • Canary Islands, Spain

General Tips

Look for areas with plenty of baitfish, ⁣as Smooth Hammerheads are‍ known to follow these ⁢fish.

How to Catch

Natural bait such as mackerel, ⁤sardines or‍ anchovies are very effective for Smooth Hammerheads. They can be caught using trolling or surface fishing techniques. ⁣As they are most active ⁤at dusk and dawn, these are the best times to fish for them.

Identification Guide

Smooth Hammerheads are⁤ distinguished by their hammer-shaped heads, which lack an⁣ indentation in the ‌middle, unlike some other ​species of hammerhead sharks. They⁢ are ‌usually⁢ grey or olive green with a paler belly.


Smooth⁤ Hammerhead meat⁤ has ‌been reported as having a⁤ moderate, savory taste ⁢and a firm texture. The ​meat however contains high levels⁣ of methyl-mercury and should be consumed in moderation.

Additional ​Information


Smooth Hammerheads are predators and feed on squid, octopus, and a variety of ⁤fish species. They⁣ also display a unique‍ behavior called ‘schooling’⁢ where hundreds or⁣ even thousands of sharks come together⁢ forming a‌ mass.

Predators ⁣and Threats

The major threat to Smooth Hammerheads is overfishing ⁣for their fins and meat. They⁣ are also accidentally caught in fishing nets causing unintended casualties.

Cultural/Historical Significance

In certain cultures, Smooth Hammerheads ⁢are ​regarded as guardian spirits, ‌signs of power, or symbols of courage.

References and ⁢Further Reading

  • Kabasakal, H. (2012). Sphyrna zygaena. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2005.[[link]
  • Compagno, L.J.V.⁢ (2001) Sharks of‌ the world. An⁤ annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Volume 2. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes‍ and Orectolobiformes). FAO ⁣Species Catalogue ⁢for Fishery‍ Purposes. No. 1, Vol. 2. Rome, FAO. 269‍ p.