Sail-fin Roughshark

About the Sail-fin Roughshark

The Oxynotus Paradoxus, also known as the Sailfin Roughshark, is a species of dogfish shark in the Oxynotidae family, found in the eastern North Atlantic from Scotland to Senegal.


The Sailfin Roughshark is a rare shark. At birth, this species is about 25 cm in length and can grow up to 118 cm in length. It has a compressed body form with a blunt snout and wide, flattened head. It has two tall, narrow and pointed dorsal fins that contain concave trailing edges, but no anal fin. The first dorsal spine trails back, a unique feature of this species of Oxynotus. This is the only species to have an incline first dorsal fin spine. The color of the shark when living is uniformly dark brown, however, it turns black in a preserved specimen.

This shark is an ovoviviparous species. These sharks feast on small benthic fish and invertebrates.


The Sailfin Roughshark is an uncommon deepwater bottom shark found at depths from 265-720 m. The species’ known depth range is entirely within the range of deepwater fisheries operating in the Northeast Atlantic, although the Mid-Atlantic ridge and southern part of its range probably offer some refuge from fishing pressures. Based on the distribution of the Oxynotus Paradoxus, occupying a bathybenthic habitat, the species can be classified as benthos organism with reproductive migrations to the continental shelf in spring.

Threats and conservation:

This species is an uncommon bycatch of offshore trawling fleets. Trawl and gillnet fisheries operate throughout the species’ known depth range in areas of the northeast Atlantic, but no information is available on the bycatch of this species. No measures are currently in place for these sharks, further research is required to determine the true extent of the range of the species.

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Scientific NameOxynotus Paradoxus
OrderDog and Angelfish Sharks - Squaliformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNData Deficient
Litter Size1
SpeciesOxynotus Paradoxus
Common Length85.0 cm
Max Lenght118 cm
Depth Range265-720 m
DistributionEastern Central Atlantic