Bronze Whaler Shark

Carcharhinus brachyurus
Bronze Whaler Shark - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Carcharhinus brachyurus
Other names Black-tipped Whaler, Bronze Whaler, Bronzie, Cocktail Shark, Copper Shark, Narrowtooth Shark, New Zealand Whaler
Size Up to 2.95 m (9.67 ft)
Weight Up to 304 kg (670 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal & offshore waters, estuaries, bays, harbours & beaches throughout the water column
Depth Range 0 - 100 m (328 ft)
Bronze Whaler Shark Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Bronze Whaler Shark is a species of requiem shark found in the coastal waters of Australia. They inhabit the temperate waters, from the southern coast of Western Australia to southern Queensland.
  • They have a slender, streamlined body and a blunt snout. They have a long, sickle-shaped dorsal fin, and their pectoral fins are relatively long and pointed. The upper side of their body is bronze to grey-brown in colour, while the underside is white.
  • They are known to be opportunistic feeders and feed on a variety of prey, including fish, squid, and crustaceans.
  • Bronze Whaler Sharks are not considered to be a threat to humans, although they have been known to attack people in rare cases.
  • The Bronze Whaler Shark is a highly migratory species and can travel long distances to feed, mate, and give birth.
  • Bronze Whaler Sharks are viviparous, which means that the embryos develop inside the mother’s body and receive nutrients from a placenta.
  • Breeding occurs in the summer months in Australia, with mating taking place offshore and the females returning to inshore waters to give birth.
  • Female give birth to live young, usually between 1 and 13 pups at a time, with an average litter size of 5 to 6 pups.
  • Estimates of lifespan are up to 25 years or more.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing

Bronze Whaler Sharks are a popular species for recreational fishing in Australia. They are prized by anglers for their large size and fighting ability. Catch and release is a common practice among recreational anglers.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Carcharhiniformes

Family: Carcharhinidae

Genus: Carcharhinus

Species: Carcharhinus brachyurus

Conservation Status

The Bronze Whaler Shark is classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This classification means that the species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

They are protected in some Australian states, including Western Australia and South Australia, but are not protected in other areas.

How to catch
Bronze Whaler Shark

Catch Difficulty: Difficult

Tackle: Large circle hook rigged on leader with/without sinker with a crimp sleeve

Bait: Fresh cut flesh baits, Octopus, Pilchards, Squid, Slimy Mackerel, Bonito, Yellowtail Scad

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure, Slowly sink bait towards bottom

Popularity: Highly Targeted