The sandbar shark is easily identified by its first dorsal fin, which is triangular in shape and unusually large. It is a coastal fish that prefers shallow waters although it may be found in depths of up to 280 m. It ceaselessly patrols the bottoms of bays, inlets and river-mouths. The females only reproduce from the age of 16 years and after a long period of gestation (1 year), they give birth to a reduced number of young (8-12).
The sandbar shark is a target species for commercial (meat, fins, skin and liver) and recreational fishing, in many areas throughout its distribution. This species has been targeted by intensive fishing in recent years and is particularly vulnerable given its slow growth and reproductive rates.
During the breeding season, a mature male persistently follows a female, occasionally biting the area between her dorsal fins. This form of courtship behaviour often leaves the female with permanent scarring.