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maximum 5.5 meters


maximum 340 kilograms


dark blue-gray, side gray with spots and a dirty white belly


up to 19 years


fish (mackerel, herring and scad), squid and sometimes birds


other sharks


ovoviviparity (live birth)
maturity: starting at around 7 years
number: 2-4 young per nest

  • Dut: Voshaai (Zeevos)
  • Lat: Alopias vulpinus
  • Eng: Thresher
  • Ger: Fuchshai
  • Dan: Rævehaj
Young Tresher, Ecomare


Threshers are easy to identify by their extremely long tail fin. The top part of the tail fins is often longer than the body itself. The shark uses its long tail to hunt schools of fish. It swims in continually smaller circles around the school while thrashing its tail. And then it attacks. Threshers can produce quite a clap with their tail. Sometimes a bird is hit unconscious. As long as they don't feel threatened, threshers are not dangerous for humans.

  • Thresher catches in the North Sea

    Threshers are not very edible. Nor do they contain other worthwhile materials, as in the case of the basking shark. Therefore, they are not fished. In some (mainly tropical) regions, threshers are a popular fish to try and catch among sport fishermen. They enjoy fighting an adult thresher! Threshers don't generally swim in the vicinity of the Netherlands. Nevertheless, they are sometimes caught in fish nets.

  • Catches and reports in the North Sea
    DateLocation and details
    1948 -
    1951 off the coast of Noordwijk
    1958 2 specimen
    1959 2 specimen
    1971 off the coast of Scheveningen
    1983 -
    1986 northwest of Schouwen (Zeeuws museum, Oostkapelle)
    1995 Tholense beam-trawler TH42, specimen 300 kilograms
    1995, October Ouddorper fisherman OD6/OD8, specimen 200 kilograms
    1995, October various coastal fishermen, number of small specimen
    1997, September fishing vessel SL7/SL45 in the Diepe Gat by Texel, specimen 350 kilograms and 4.5 meters
    1998, May German Euro cutter NC 304, specimen 200 kilograms and 3.6 meters
    1998, May fishing vessel SC10/SC35 , specimen 4 meters
    1998, mei SH 19, specimen 203 kilograms and 4 meters
    2002, August HD 27 by the Borkummer Stones, 309 kilograms and 6 meters
    From various sources
  • Distribution and habitat
    Distribution of the tresher, Ecomare

    The thresher is found in all the world oceans and is also sometimes found in the North Sea.