Blue shark (Prionace glauca)

blue shark - joe romeiro.jpg

IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened

An abundant oceanic species, the blue shark is widespread throughout temperature and tropical waters

Reaches sizes up to 12.5 feet

Gestation of pups is 9-12 months

Relatively fast growing, with maturation around 4-6 years and a higher fecundity, with litters of about 35 pups

Often caught as bycatch (or, incidental catch) by fishing gear, with numbers reported up to 20 million individuals annually

Not a desirable fish for consumption

There are no population assessments for this species, and so the trend of population sizes in light of the impact of fisheries, is unknown, with the exception of a 20% population decline reported in the North Pacific between 1970s and early 1990s

Estimated to grow as old as 20 years

The blue shark is a highly migratory fish that exploits similar habitats such as the mako and white shark, but lack the anatomical/physiological adaptations that help the later two species exploit colder water temperatures and be highly migratory – blue sharks are a mystery in this regard!

Numerous trans-Atlantic migrations have been reported, and it’s proposed these are accomplished by slow swimming and taking advantage of ocean current systems

Mating documented in the north-western Atlantic, and pupping in the north-eastern Atlantic