Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) Family Lamnidae, Mackerel sharks
Common name: mako
Description: These sharks are a brilliant blue gray or cobalt blue on top, changing to light blue along their sides and snowy white on their belly and lower jaw. Soon after death their brilliant color fades to grayish brown. Shortfin mako sharks are large, streamline shaped fish that have a conical snout and a crescent shaped tail fin. Shortfin makos, though similar to blue sharks in color, differ in the shape of their snout. Their long slender teeth, which curve inward and have no cusps at their bases or serrations along their edges, easily separate them from white sharks and porbeagles. Shortfin makos can grow to 12 feet in length and weigh as much as 1,100 pounds.
Where found: offshore
Similar Gulf of Maine species: white shark, porbeagle shark
Remarks: Shortfin makos are pelagic, solitary and fast swimming. They are prized by sport fishermen because of their large size and great fighting ability. Makos are also known for their acrobatic ability, which enables them to leap up to 20 feet when hooked. Their meat is excellent to eat.
Fish Illustrations by: Roz Davis Designs, Damariscotta, ME (207) 5632286
Drawings provided courtesy of the Maine Department of Marine Resources Recreational Fisheries program and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.