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EFSA - European Federation Of Sea Anglers

Mako Shark (ISURUS OXYRINCHUS)

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SHARK, MAKO / ISURUS OXYRINCHUS
8 16 25.25 55.11 Graciosa Canary Is. 150792 G. Omegna
10 20 70.00 154.5 Ponta Delgada Azores 030688 A. Goncalves
15 30 83.00 183.0 San Miguel Azores 020688 A. Wolfram
24 50 73.00 160.15 Faial Azores 071187 J. Reece
37 80 167.83 370.0 Falmouth England 70 P. Taylor
60 130 226.80 500.00 Looe England 71 Mrs. J. Yallop
AT AT 226.80 500.00 Looe England 71 Mrs. J. Yallop

The mako shark (ISURUS OXYRINCHUS)

has a wide distribution. It is found in tropical and temperate waters throughout the world's oceans. In North America it ranges from California to Chile in the Pacific and from the Grand Banks to the hump of Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea in the Atlantic. It is commonly seen in offshore waters from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras. In the eastern Atlantic the shortfin mako ranges from Norway to South Africa, including the Mediterranean and it is found throughout the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Australia. In the western Pacific it ranges from Japan to New Zealand and in the central Pacific it occurs from the Aleutian Islands to the Society Islands.

The shortfin mako is a true pelagic species with a primarily anti-tropical distribution. However, they will enhabit the cooler, deeper water of tropical regions. In some tropical areas where the surface temperature is 27°C (81°F), water temperature may be as low as 59°F (15°C) at depths of 30-60 m (94.2-188.4 ft). With the ability to elevate body temperature, makos are able to maintain themselves in temperatures of 5-11°C (41-52°F). In this sense the makos are somewhat "warm-blooded," meaning that heat in their blood is conserved within the body and not lost through the gills. They have been recorded at depths 740 m. However, shortfin makos prefer water temperatures between 17-20°C. It has been hypothesized this species migrates seasonally to warmer waters. This theory has been supported by tag and release studies.

These studies have also shown that while shortfin makos follow warm water, they do so within the confines of a specific geographical area. Consequently, there seems to be limited genetic flow between these geographically distinct populations. Very little is known about the social habits of the shortfin mako, except that it is a solitary shark.

mako shark (isurus oxyrinchus)

The shortfin mako body is conic-cylindrical and and extremely hydrodynamic. The snout is bluntly pointed with large black eyes. The caudal keel is prominent and the caudal fin is lunate. The tail has a high aspect ratio (ratio of height to length), which produces maximum thrust with minimum drag and provides almost all of the propulsion for the shark. The anteroventral zone of the snout is black.

There are two extant (living) mako sharks, the longfin mako (Isurus paucus) and the shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus). The longfin mako resembles the shortfin mako, but has larger pectoral fins and larger eyes. The presence of only one lateral keel on the tail and the lack of lateral cusps on the teeth distinguish the makos from the closely related porbeagle sharks of the genus Lamna.

The shortfin mako is the fastest shark, capable of attaining speeds of up to 32 km/h (20 mph), and leaping skillfully out of the water. The mako holds the speed record for long distance travel: approximately 2130 km (1320 miles) in 37 days for an average of about 58 km (36 miles) per day. The shortfin mako feeds on other fast-moving pelagic fishes such as swordfish, tunas, and other sharks as well as squid. The stomach contents of sharks caught in gillnets off Natal, South Africa, showed a 60 to 40 ratio of shark to bony fish, while a study from the northeastern United States found 77.5 percent of the mako diet was bluefish. Marine mammals and sea turtles are rarely ingested by this species.

Information supplied by http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu

 
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