ALSO KNOWN AS: mako shark, mackerel shark
CONSERVATION STATUS: Endangered (worldwide)
LENGTH: 400 cm (13.1 ft) total length
Illustration ©Marc Dando
Photograph ©Issiah Cruz
RANGE: In the Western North Atlantic, typical range extends from the Grand Banks southward to the Gulf of Mexico.
HABITAT: Frequents temperate and tropical waters. May be found on or beyond the continental shelf.
IDENTIFICATION: Streamlined body with pronounced caudal keels and a conical snout. Dark blue above, fading to metallic blue on the sides with a white underside. Teeth are long and slender and lack serrations. Crescent-shaped tail with nearly equal upper and lower lobes. Pectoral fins are shorter than the length of the head.
INTERESTING FACTS: Reportedly the fastest shark reaching speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour. Highly migratory. Regionally endothermic, maintaining a body temp 14 F above ambient water temperature. Feeds mainly on fishes and squid with the largest individuals opportunistically feeding on marine mammals.
IUCN CONSERVATION STATUS: Endangered
As of July 5, 2022, U.S. fishermen MAY NOT land or retain Atlantic shortfin mako sharks. Prior to moratorium, minimum fork lengths for landing were 71 inches for males sharks and 83 inches for female sharks.