About the Species
Smalltail sharks are relatively small sharks—reaching a maximum length of about 5 ft. They are generally found in estuaries and nearshore waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from Brazil to the northern Gulf of Mexico, though they are generally absent throughout the Caribbean Islands. They tend to associate with the bottom and are generally found over mud substrates.
In the Spotlight
NOAA Fisheries initiated a status review of this species in May 2023 in response to a petition. This status review will be used to determine whether listing the tope shark as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act is warranted. During this time, the smalltail shark is considered a candidate species under the ESA.