This shark is endangered, and overfishing is the cause

The Narrownose smoothhound (Mustelus schmitti) is a shark belonging to the family Triakidae. It is found on the continental shelves of the subtropical southwest Atlantic, from southern Brazil to northern Argentina. It can be distinguished from other sharks in its range and is endangered.


Family: Triakidae – Houndsharks

Genus: Mustelus 

Species: schmitti


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Triakidae

Common NameHoundsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born around 36 cm/1.1 feet. Mature males reach between 62-67 cm/2-2.2 feet and mature females between 60-67 cm/1.9-2.2 feet. The maximum recorded is 109 cm/3.5 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The teeth are pavement like with low crowns and weak cusps.

Head: Their snout is moderately long and bluntly angular. There is very little internarial space.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Narrownose smoothhound can be found in the southwest Atlantic from southern Brazil to northern Argentina (30° S and 44° S, 66°W – 46°W). They are found offshore on the continental shelf between 197-640 feet. They are subtropical, demersal, oceanodromous.

Diet: They feed on crabs and other crustaceans, invertebrates and small fish.

Aesthetic Identification: The Narrownose smoothhound is white spotted. The dorsal fins are with naked ceratotrichia on the margins, giving them a dark and frayed look to them. They are easily identifiable from other members of its genus, even other sharks with white spots.

Biology and Reproduction: They are ovoviviparous without placenta, having two pups per litter. Gestation is thought to be around 11 months. Males may live to about 9 years and females a great deal longer at 16 years.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: They migrate seasonally from Brazil in the winter to Uruguay and Argentina in the summer.

Narrownose Smoothhound Future and Conservation: They are currently endangered. They have been important to commercial fisheries and have been exploited through their range, which also includes breeding and nursery grounds. They have been most depleted in the northern part of their range.

During winter in Brazil they are fished from bycatch. Intensive fishing began in 1985 has decreased the winter migrant populations by 85% in 1997. Surveys in 2003 do not record young sharks. Since 1988, they have been important in Argentina and demand has increased in the past 8 years.

Narrownose Smoothhound Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.