Gummy Shark Facts

No, this is not the type of shark that comes in a bag. Unlike the chewy, sugary snacks that bear the same name this creature can definitely bite back. Gummy sharks or Mustelus antacticus are slender grey and have distinctive white spots along a sleek, slim body. Their flat plate-like teeth are ideal for crushing their prey. With a maximum length of 5 feet and 3 inches for the male and 5 feet 6 inches for the females, the good news for divers and swimmers is that this shark is more interested in marine worms, small fish, squids, and crustaceans.

This shark has blunt, flat teeth that are suitable for crushing, but not cutting or tearing. Searching for prey, they prefer sandy or rocky bottoms. The Gummy shark does not adhere to any clear migration patterns. It is clear that large females will leave Bass Strait and head for the waters off South Australia and Western Australia to breed.

The Gummy shark is however, consisted a tasty meal by man. Historically this shark has reached low numbers in some areas from over fishing, but since the 1980’s a lower demand and the adoption of a total allowable catch since 2000 in some places has increased the population. Still, in some places sport-fishing enthusiasts can hire boats to have a chance to catch one of these amazing sharks.

gummy shark

The Gummy shark meat is often marketed as “flake” an Australia term that means the flesh of any of several species of small shark. Gummy sharks are a special favorite however. Flake has a mild flavor, a soft texture that holds up after cooking. The appearance of the meat is clean, and white.

Gummy sharks are most commonly seen in southern Australia from Shark Bay in Western Australia around to Port Stephens in New Southern South Wales. Gummy sharks are considered “hound sharks” or in the family of Triakidae and are thought of as mostly harmless despite their length in the wild. Transferred to an aquarium the shark often only grows to half its normal adult size.

This shark is produces egg and the embryos develop in side the female’s body. Ovovivipary reproduction is common in sharks, and the Gummy can produce over a dozen young at a time.

In its natural habitat the Gummy shark is a great photo subject for divers with its long narrow appearance and distinctive fins. Their grey coloring can make them difficult to see in certain lighting, but since they hunt opportunistically in daylight, a little bait can bring them close enough for a good picture. As with any animal even through this shark is considered harmless, that doesn’t mean it’s completely safe. Swimmers should also note it and divers that anywhere you find a small hunter, you will also find the larger hunters that prey on them. Keeping an eye out for larger shark species or other predators is a good idea, and using bait while in the water should always be done with extreme caution.

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