This section describes the most common cartilaginous fishes in the Gulf of California or whose range includes the Gulf. For the most part they are in taxonomic order according to Nelson (1994) with the few exceptions noted within the text. Each species is given with the common English name, the common Spanish name(s) when available, a description of the fish, maximum length, meristics, habitat and distribution. For species that I have obtained as specimens from fishermen, from collections, or observed there is a more detailed illustration.
Unfortunately, many species of sharks and rays are under heavy fishing pressure in the Gulf of California. Most of the species discussed in this section that I have personally seen have been from specimen collections, from fishermen’s catches, and discarded remains left at abandoned fishing camps. I have had the fortune of diving in the coastal waters of the Gulf of California for almost 10 years, sometimes in fairly remote areas, and I’ve only ever seen a horn shark two to three times, but never any other species underwater.