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NEFSC Apex Predators Program

blue shark Blue shark

BLUE SHARK

Prionace glauca

SIZE

To about 12.5 ft (3.8 m).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Pectoral fins very long, narrow, pointed
  • Caudal fin nonlunate
  • Body slender
  • Snout rounded, long
  • Color dark blue above, bright blue with metallic hues on sides, white underside
  • First dorsal fin closer to pelvic fins than to pectoral fins

DISTRIBUTION

Newfoundland, Canada, to Argentina, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Common in U.S. Northeast and mid-Atlantic.

HABITAT

Offshore; relatively cool waters 45-70°F (7-21°C); surface to about 1,970 ft (600 m).

SIMILAR SPECIES

Shortfin mako and longfin mako have more pointed snouts, protruding smooth-edged teeth, stouter bodies, lunate caudal fins, strong caudal keels.

MORE INFORMATION


Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

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(File Modified Aug. 08 2017)