Soupfin Shark  (Galeorhinus galeus ) 


Scuba San Diego guests often see these beautiful sharks on the outer reef “rock pile.” This area of the La Jolla Cove Ecological Reserve Kelp Forest is found about 500 yards off shore on a 50 degree heading from the Life Guard Shack.  So it’s a 25-30 minute surface swim out to the rock pile.  

It is a migrating shark and can travel up to 35 miles in a day.  The fin trade finds them prize catches because of the size of its fins.  The grow to a mature length over 6 feet long.  For this reason  the are considered to be a vulnerable fish, this, despite the large concentration of mercury in their tissue.  They are not considered dangerous with only one known instance of a bite.

This shark has probably more common names than any other fish:

tope shark, eastern school shark, flake, greyboy, greyshark, Penny’s dog, schnapper shark, school shark, sharpie shark, soupfin shark, Sweet William shark, tope oil shark, tope school shark, tope soupfin shark, and vitamin shark. Other common names from around the globe are aceitero (Spanish), Australische haai (Dutch), Australischer Hundshai (German), bethaj (Swedish), biethaj (German), bostrich (Spanish), bostrio (Spanish), cação (Portuguese), cagnot (French), cámari (Spanish), camgöz baligi (Turkish), can negro (Italian), canesca (Italian), canicule (French), cazon (Spanish), chien de mer (French), cuero (Spanish), galeo (Italian), galéos drossitis (Greek), gat (French), Gemeine Meersau (German), gráháfur (Icelandic), gråhai (Norwegian), Großer Hundshai (German), halt (French), harmaahai (Finnish), haute (French), hundshai (German), kalb (Arabic), kapeta (Maori), karishan (Hebrew), kelb il bahar (Arabic), lamie (French), lamiola (French), makohuarau (Maori), mazzola (Maltese), milandre (French), musola corallo (Spanish), pal (French), pallon (French), paroun (French), pas butor (Serbian), perna-de-moça (Portuguese), peshk qen (Albanian), rechin de supa (Rumanian), ruwe haai (Dutch), Schulhai (German), skylogaleus (Greek), skylos drossiti (Greek), sopvinhaai (Afrikaans), tiburón de aleta (Spanish), tollo (Spanish), tollos (Spanish), touille (French), tupere (Maori), uwii guuga (Haida), and vaalhaai (Afrikaans).