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Blue Shark

Prionace glauca

Distinguishing Characteristics

Illustration of a blue shark showing important characteristics
  • Body slender with long narrow pectoral fins
  • Long sharply rounded snout, longer than width of mouth
  • Body color is blue, fading to a white belly
  • First dorsal fin starts well behind the pectoral fin
  • No interdorsal ridge

Similar Species: Shortfin mako, I. oxyrinchus (tail in shape of crescent moon) 


The largest recorded blue shark measured 12.6 feet.  Matures at approximately 4-6 years of age (between 6-10 feet) and is estimated to live up to 20 + years.


Found worldwide in temperate and tropical pelagic (open ocean) waters. They rarely approach nearshore areas, but have been documented near oceanic islands and where the continental shelf is narrow.


Known to be opportunistic foragers, they feed primarily on squid, pelagic forage fish and other invertebrates, but the remains of seabirds, small marine mammals, and small sharks have been found in their stomachs.


After approximately 12 months of gestation, females give birth to live young. Broods contain 25-50+ pups. Size at birth ranges from 16-20 inches.

Additional Information

Although slow-moving, they are not shy and have been documented in shark attacks resulting from at-sea disasters. They are frequently caught as bycatch of longline and driftnet fisheries and sometimes targeted for recreational sports fishing.

Recreational Regulations


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles