The school shark, tope shark, soupfin shark or snapper shark, Galeorhinus galeus, is a hound shark of the family Triakidae, the only member of the genus Galeorhinus, found worldwide in subtropical seas at depths of up to 550 m. It grows to 2 m long.
The school shark has a long, pointed snout, a large mouth, and small blade-like teeth. The second dorsal fin is about as large as the anal fin and the terminal caudal fin lobe is as long as the rest of the fin. It is greyish above, white below, and the young have black markings on their fins.
It is mainly demersal on continental and insular shelves, but is also found on the upper slopes, at depths from near shore to 550 m. It has been shown to be pelagic in the open ocean (frequently caught on floating tuna longlines over deep water, and many New Zealand-tagged specimens have been recaptured in Australia). The school shark occurs in small schools that are highly migratory in higher latitudes in their range. There is pronounced partial segregation by size and sex in some areas.
Reproduction is ovoviviparous.
Its meat is excellent for human consumption (among other recipes, it is particularly remarkable the traditional Andalusian bienmesabe), liver for squalene oil, fins for soup; also utilized as fishmeal. Marketed fresh, dried-salted, and frozen; although this shark is in danger of being overfished due to poor regulations on production.
Adapts well in captivity if carefully captured and handled.
The finning of a shark is somewhat grisly; mainly in that the shark is of no value to the average shark finner, and the dying shark is simply thrown overboard after being relieved of its fins.
'Vulnerable' Shark in Soup Served in Seattle; Shark-Fin Soup Now Illegal in State; Study Analyzed Meat in 14 U.S. Cities
Aug 10, 2012; Byline: Theodoric Meyer; Seattle Times staff reporter Seattleites who dined on shark-fin soup before the state banned it may have...