Sustainable Fishing, Marine Biology & Conservation
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Wednesday
May092012

Longfin Mako

*photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons (not used in the book)

(Isurus paucus)

Because longfin makos typically stay out in the deeper waters beyond the Continental Shelf and are apparently not as abundant as the shortfin mako, recreational anglers seldom encounter this species of shark. Most of the time anglers think that maybe they have caught a longfin because the mako they are looking at beside the boat has longer than normal looking pectoral fins. To this I can only say that on every longfin I've ever seen these fins didn't just appear to maybe be a little longer than usual - they were much longer. So much longer, in fact, that there was no doubt I was looking at a longfin. So if there's a question at all, it's probably a shortfin. Longfin mako lack the beautiful color scheme of the shortfin. Instead of silvery sides, the longfin's colors go from a deep dark blue (almost black) back to a dark gray on the sides and then a white underside. However, the most distinguishing feature between the two species are the colors of the underside of the snout and lower jaw. On a shortfin this area is a vivid white in color while on the longfin it's a dark gray or almost black.