Tope is a medium sized shark, and the largest found in UK waters (up to around 1.5m). Tope generally inhabits coastal waters, however in the KEIFCA district, due to the shallow nature of the Thames Estuary, it is usually found further out, down to approximately 400m. It generally lives in small schools, close to the bottom but feeds in mid water. 20 – 40 young are born live and around 40cm long in the late summer after a gestation period of around 10 months.
Tope is seasonally migratory and eats a range of small schooling fish such as Mackerel, Whiting, Pouting and Cod as well as bottom fish, crustaceans and echinoderms. As an apex predator it does have the ability to impact upon other species including some of those found on the KEIFCA Species Priority list.
Click here to read the KEIFCA Species Management Plan for Tope