The 7 Biggest Sharks Off Oregon’s Coast

Written by Taiwo Victor
Updated: December 18, 2022
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There are so many shark species worldwide – more than 500 species are known. Uniquely, the water off the Oregon Coast is home to about 17 of these creatures. The sharks located off Oregon’s coast vary hugely in length and size. Most shark species here are harmless, but unfortunately, this region features one of the most dangerous sharks in the world – the great white shark. In this article, we will be discussing the seven biggest sharks off Oregon’s coast. 

1. Basking Shark

Biggest Shark: Basking Shark
Basking sharks measure an average length of 26 feet and weigh around 10,000 pounds.

©Martin Prochazkacz/

The basking shark weighing an average of 10,260 Ib, is considered the second largest fish and shark in the world and the largest Off Oregon’s coast. Regardless of how huge they are, they pose no threat to humans. A wholly grown adult basking shark should measure an average of 26 feet in length, although some basking sharks have measured somewhere around 39 feet. 

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Even with their 1500 tiny hooked teeth, basking sharks remain filter feeders, feeding on plankton. The hooked teeth are attached to six rows on the upper jaw and nine below. With all these teeth, you would think that they are predators of large animals, but rather, they filter small creatures from the ocean into their stomachs. 

2. Great White Shark

Great white shark
Great white sharks are responsible for 27 of the 28 shark attacks off Oregon’s coast.


The great white shark is an apex predator that can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh up to 4,200 to 5000 pounds. This is one of the most famous sharks out there, as it has the most recorded shark attack on humans worldwide. They are the most potent and dangerous fish on this list, and of the 28 shark attacks off the Oregon coast, they are responsible for 27 of them.

The lifespan of a great white shark is 70 years. They are the longest-lived cartilaginous fish yet. Asides from attacking humans, their regular feeds are large fishes, seals, dolphins, sea turtles, and sea lions

3. Sixgill Shark

A close-up of a Sixgill Shark.
Sixgill sharks can detect vibrations and faint electrical signals.

©Greg Amptman/

Ideally, sharks have 5 gills, but that is not the case with sixgill sharks. They have six gills and are silent predators with stunning green eyes. They live in the deep and dark parts of the oceans during the day and migrate to more shallow parts at night.

They are prehistoric sharks with a heightened sense of smell and sight. They can also detect vibrations and faint electrical signals. It is believed that sixgill sharks could live for over 80 years. The most popular species of the sixgill shark is the bluntnose sixgill shark

4. Common Thresher Shark 

Longest Tail: The Common Thresher Shark
The most notable feature of the thresher shark is the long, whip-like upper lobe of its tail, which is known as the caudal fin.

©Shane Gross/

The common thresher shark is magnificent because of its uniquely long tails. This shark species grows to about 20 feet long, and the largest thresher shark was recorded at 32 feet long. They also have an average weight of 750 pounds.  

Common thresher sharks feed on fishes they hunt with their tails. They whip their tail on their prey to make it unconscious and feed on them in an inactive state. Despite their large bodies and swordtail, these sharks rarely attack humans as they have small teeth and are harmless. Pollution, bycatch death, sport fishing, and the shark fin soup industry are the causes of the endangered status of these sharks. 

5. Pacific Sleeper Shark 

Pacific Sleeper Shark
On average, Pacific sleeper sharks grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 800 pounds. 

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The Pacific sleeper shark got its name from its movement; it is prolonged and can be found in the deep cold waters of the west coasts. Furthermore, it feeds on crabs, octopuses, and rockfish, using its silent and extreme movement to capture its prey. Pacific sleeper sharks have trimethylamine in their tissues and are, therefore, reported to be toxic to humans. On average, Pacific sleeper sharks grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 800 pounds. 

6. Shortfin Mako Shark 

Shortfin mako shark with pilot fish.
The shortfin mako shark is the fastest fish in the ocean.

©Xavier ELIAS Photography/

Shortfin mako sharks are giant mackerel sharks measuring about 12 feet long and weighing an average of 1200 pounds. They are the fastest fish in the ocean; they can go about 43 miles per hour. They are also known as the blue pointer or the bonito shark.

Majorly, these sharks feed on cephalopods and bony fishes, like mackerel, bonitos, swordfish, and tunas. They could also eat other sharks and sea birds, porpoises, and sea turtles. They are seen to move in a figure 8 pattern before an attack.

7. Salmon Shark

Rare underwater photograph of a Salmon Shark in open water, elusive predator of the Northern Pacific ocean.
Salmon sharks can grow over 10 feet long with a maximum weight of 660 pounds.

©Warren Metcalf/

The salmon shark is a strong swimming large fish with gray skin, found in the North Pacific Ocean. This fish has an average length of 6.5-8 feet but can grow to over 10 feet long with a maximum weight of 660 pounds. Salmon sharks live in the deeper and darker part of the water and are also dangerous to humans. 

They mainly prey on herrings, squids, birds, and salmon – that’s right, the salmon fish feeds on salmon too! They are not toxic to humans; so you can keep and eat them if you catch them legally. 

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Jumping Great White Shark.
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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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