The Tope Shark is one of England’s most common and best-known native large sharks. It can be found all around our coastline near to shallow waters. In summer the Tope Sharp often swims more closely inshore. It is also known as the ‘soupfin shark’ because its fins are used in soup.
The Tope Shark can reach two metres in length and can weigh up to fifty kilogrammes. It has a long, flat, pointed snout and small black eyes. It has triangular-shaped teeth arranged in two to four rows. The teeth are sharply pointed and are angled outwards. The top part of the Tope Shark is a grey colour and the underside is white or a light grey. It has a very slender-looking body. It has one fin at the rear end of its back and another fin in the middle. These fins are called ‘dorsal’ fins.
The Tope Shark is a very quick and light swimmer. It is also a solitary shark that spends most of its time near to the bottom of the sea. It feeds on a variety of fish such as cod, herring, mackerel, pilchards, salmon and also on crabs, snails, octopus, sea urchins and crabs.