Carcharhinus falciformis

Silky shark FAL
Characteristic features:

Dorsal surfaces dark brown to dark grey. First dorsal fin plain; other fins plain or with dusky tips. Ventral surfaces almost white.


Maximum size up to ~330 cm TL; birth size 56–87 cm TL.


Circumglobal in all tropical waters and seasonally in some warm temperate seas.


Oceanic and pelagic, but most abundant offshore close to land masses; usually near surface, but also down to at least 500 m depth.


Feeds primarily on pelagic bony fish, and also cephalopods and pelagic crabs. An active fast swimming species that can sometimes be aggressive. Known to segregate by size, with juveniles in offshore nursery areas close to land. Length at maturity is at least 190–210 cm TL, and 180–210 for females and males respectively. Age at maturity is around 14 years and 11.6 years for females and males respectively in Papua New Guinea. Females have a viviparous with yolk-sac placenta reproductive mode and give birth to between 1–16 pups (average 8–10). There is a possible 2 year reproductive cycle, and no obvious reproductive seasonality. Maximum age reported as at least 28 years in Papua New Guinea.

Indonesian fisheries:

Very common component of the catch of shark and tuna linkline and tuna gillnet fisheries. Utilised for its fins (high value in adults), meat, skin and cartilage.

Similar species:

Carcharhinus obscurus
Dusky shark

Carcharhinus obscurus

Carcharhinus obscurus differs in having a more anteriorly positioned first dorsal-fin, its origin about level with pectoral-rear tips (vs. first dorsal fin more posteriorly positioned, its origin well behind pectoral-fin rear tips) and a snout more broadly rounded (vs. narrowly rounded to somewhat pointed).

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