Scientific name

Sphyrna mokarran

Locally known as

IUCN status



This is the largest species of the hammerhead shark, reaching a maximum length of up to 20 feet. It is known for travelling great distances to seek out prey, often at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.

Key threats

Fishing, habitat destruction and polluted waters.

Where they're found today

Around the world in tropical and warm waters.

Abu Dhabi’s efforts

In 2011, EAD revealed that up to 4.3 tonnes of scalloped hammerhead and great hammerhead were landed in Abu Dhabi. Hammerheads are vulnerable to overfishing and EAD closely monitors the species. In 2018, the UAE developed The National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks 2018-2021, which details concrete steps to develop public awareness and strictly enforce legislation to protect sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras.

Fun facts

1. The shark is named after the wide hammer-like shape of its head.
2. The species feeds on a wide variety of prey, including bony fish, smaller sharks and crustaceans.
3. The shark is highly reproductive compared to other species and can bear litters of up to 55 pups in just two years.
4. Hammerhead sharks love to eat stingrays.
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