Oceanic, but may be found close inshore where the continental shelf is narrow. Usually found to at least 150 m. Reported from estuaries. Epipelagic, occasionally occurs in littoral areas. Feeds on fishes, small sharks, squids, crabs, cetacean carrion, occasional sea birds and garbage. May travel considerable distances. Potentially dangerous to humans. Marketed fresh, dried or salted, and frozen; meat utilized for consumption, hides for leather and fins for soup.
Circumglobal in temperate and tropical waters. Western Atlantic: Newfoundland, Canada to Argentina. Central Atlantic. Eastern Atlantic: Norway to South Africa, including the Mediterranean. Indo-West Pacific: East Africa to Indonesia, Japan, Australia, New Caledonia, and New Zealand. Eastern Pacific: Gulf of Alaska to Chile. Highly migratory species,