Irish Sharks

thresher shark, Alopias vulpinus, Island
Thresher shark, Alopias vulpinus

Due to Ireland’s position on the edge of the continental shelf and a wide range of marine habitats along our coastline means that we are lucky to have a large number of highly diverse shark species in our waters.

Thirty-nine species of shark that have been verified and recorded in the Irish territory. Some may only be visitors or recorded very rarely however the majority are regularly dependent on our waters. These range from the small and well known dogfish (Scyliorhinus canicula) to the second largest fish in the sea, the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus).

There are also many deepwater species that are only found in the deep ocean beyond the continental shelf, such as the ususually named Birdbeaked dogfish (Deania calceus) and the Leafscale gulper shark (Centrophorus squamosus).

Full list below (39 verified species recorded within the territory – up to date as of Feb 2023):

Common Name Family/Species
Frilled Shark Chamydoselachus anguineus
Sharpnose Sevengill Shark Heptranchias perlo
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark Hexanchus griseus
Bramble Shark Echinorhinus brucus
SQUALIDAE (Spiny Dogfishes)
Spurdog Squalus acanthias
Gulper Shark Centrophorus granulosus
Leafscale Gulper Shark Centrophorus squamosus
Little Gulper Shark Centrophorus uyato
Birdbeak Dogfish Deania calcea
Rough Longnose Dogfish Deania mauli
ETMOPTERIDAE (Lantern Sharks)
Black Dogfish Centroscyllium fabricii
Greater Lantern Shark Etmopterus princeps
Velvet Belly Etmopterus spinax
SOMNIOSIDAE (Sleeper Sharks)
Portuguese Dogfish Centroscymnus coelolepis
Longnose Velvet Dogfish Centroselachus crepidater
Knifetooth Dogfish Scymnodon ringens
Greenland Shark Somniosus microcephalus
Little Sleep Shark Somniosus rostrata
Velvet Dogfish Zameus squamulosus
OXYNOTIDAE (Rough Sharks)
Sharp-back Shark Oxynotus paradoxus
DALATIIDAE (Kitefin Sharks)
Darkie Charlie Dalatias licha
SQUATINIDAE (Angel Sharks)
Monkfish or Angelshark Squatina squatina
ALOPIIDAE (Thresher Sharks)
Bigeye Thresher Shark Alopias superciliosus
Thresher Shark Alopias vulpinus
CETORHINIDAE (Basking Sharks)
Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus
LAMNIDAE (Mackerel Sharks)
Shortfin Mako Isurus oxyrhinchus
Porbeagle Lamna nasus
White Ghost Shark Apristurus aphyodes
Iceland Catshark Apristurus laurussonii
Ghost Shark Apristurus manis
Smalleye Catshark Apristurus microps
Blackmouth Dogfish Galeus melastomus
Mouse Catshark Galeus murinus
Lesser-spotted Dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula
Nursehound Scyliorhinus stellaris
False Catshark Pseudotriakis microdon
TRIAKIDAE (Hound Sharks)
Tope Galeorhinus galeus
Starry Smooth Hound Mustelus asterias
Blue Shark Prionace glauca

The above list is only possible with a huge thanks to Declan Quigley for his boundless passion and dedicated investigations and record keeping