Sandbar Shark

Theme area:  Shark Tunnel
Scientific name:  Carcharhinus plumbeus
Class:  Chordates
Order:   Vertebrates
Suborder:   Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Family:   Carcharhinidae
Subfamily:   Carcharhinus
Continent:  Central America and the Caribbean
Habitat:  Oceans and seas
Diet:  Piscivore
Weight:  80 - 100 kg
Size:  1.8 - 2 m
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Covid Info
European Ex-situ Programme (EEP)

European Ex-situ Programme (EEP)

It has a large, stocky body with a very high first dorsal fin.

Its back, flanks and fins are uniformly grey. Its belly is off-white.
Its snout is broad and rounded.


The Sandbar Shark is a viviparous species, which means that the embryos develop in the female's womb. She provides the nutrients necessary for their development through a placenta and umbilical cord. Gestation usually lasts between 10 and 14 months, depending on the weather. The female gives birth to up to 16 babies of 60 cm each. The Sandbar Shark is continually in motion due to the fact that it has no gill muscles and must therefore swim constantly in order to breathe.



Their so-called ''bycatch'' (accidental entanglement in fishing nets) is causing their numbers to decline. In certain places, it is caught intentionally to sell its fins to the Asian market. Its flesh is not consumed.



The aquarium team at Marineland has been breeding sandbar sharks since the year 2000. Each year, a female in the tank gives birth to an average of 8 babies, establishing a conservation programme that other public aquariums have joined. The young sharks are transferred to other facilities in France and Europe, thus putting an end to captures in the wild. You can see 3 generations of this species in the tank, the youngest of which having been born the previous year.



Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated
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