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Blue sharks are epipelagic, oceanic, and found in warm seas worldwide. They sometimes occur near the coast where the shelf narrows or is cut by submarine canyons close to shore. This is probably the most wide-ranging of all sharks, being found throughout tropical and temperate seas from 60N to 50S latitude. The maximum reported size for blue sharks is about 13 feet, but blue sharks taken off the U.S. West Coast average much smaller and are seldom over 8 ft. Maximum age is estimated to be at least 20 years.These images of blue shark, Prionace glauca, were taken off the coast of southern California near the Channel Islands. For more information visit the Large Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

Shortfin mako sharks are epipelagic and found in warm-temperate and tropical seas worldwide; in the eastern Pacific from Chile to the Columbia River; juveniles are also common in neritic waters. Shortfin mako sharks are found within the U.S. West Coast EEZ from the U.S.-Mexico border northward to Washington, but are most common off California. Much of the U.S. West Coast catch is comprised of juvenile fish with some adult-sized males; adult females are rarely taken. When large specimens are caught, they usually occur around the Channel Islands and outer banks of the Southern California Bight in late summer. The maximum reported size for mako sharks off the U.S. West Coast is about 11.5 feet, however the more average size is 6-7 feet. These images of mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, were taken off the coast of southern California near the Channel Islands. For more information visit the Large Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

Common thresher sharks in the North Pacific are found over the continental shelves of the United States and Asia.  They are named for their long, scythe-like tail, which is used to swat and stun fish before preying on them.  Common thresher sharks feed primarily on schooling small pelagic fishes and squids.  They are also one of the few sharks that can be seen breaching fully out of the water.   For more information visit the Large Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

The Fisheries Resources Division of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center conducts research on several shark species.  In order to monitor the populaitons and to collect data on life history and movements of these sharks they are caught on a longline and brought in to the research vessel.  Scientists can then determine length, sex, obtain DNA, and tag the shark with both conventional and/or satellite tags before releasing it. For more information visit the Large Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

The silky shark, Carcharhinus falciformis, is named for the smooth texture of its skin. It is one of the most abundant sharks in the pelagic zone, and can be found around the world in tropical waters. Highly mobile and migratory, this shark is most often found over the edge of the continental shelf down to a depth of 50 m. Although Southwest Fisheries Science Center does not do any direct research on silky sharks, they are occasionally encountered during our research cruises. When this occurs, their length is measured, gender determined, DNA taken, and they are sometimes tagged to learn more about their movements. For more information visit the Large Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

The oceanic whitetip shark, Carcharhinus longimanus, is a large pelagic shark inhabiting tropical and warm temperate seas.  It is named for its rounded, white-tipped fins. Although Southwest Fisheries Science Center does not do any direct research on oceanic whitetip sharks, they are occasionally encountered during our research cruises. When this occurs, their length is measured, gender determined, DNA taken, and they are sometimes tagged to learn more about their movements. For more information visit the Large Pelagics Program of the Fisheries Resources Division.

Tagged shortfin mako shark



Isurus oxyrinchus
This image of a mako shark was taken with an underwater pole camera during one of FRD's juvenile shark surveys off the coast of southern California near the Channel Islands. This shark was caught via longline, and tagged with a satellite tag to collect information on movement.Key words: mako shark, Isurus oxyrhincusPhoto credit: Mark ConlinContact: SWFSC Large Pelagics Program