Rafinesque, 1810; and / Isurus paucus Guitart Manday, 1965; LAMNIDAE FAMILY;
also called shortfin mako shark, longfin mako shark, blue pointer, short
nosed mackerel shark, bonito shark
in tropical and warm temperate seas, these solitary, pelagic, fast swimming
species rarely come in close to shore. The shortfin mako,
Isurus oxyrinchus, is most often encountered by anglers as it is more likely
to move in shore on occasion. The longfin mako, Isurus paucus, is a widely
distributed off shore species partticularly in Eastern Australian waters.
It is taken commercially on longlines.
Makos have a streamlined, well proportioned body and a conical pointed
snout. The longfin mako has a blunter snout and a larger eye than the shortfin
and much longer pectoral fins. There is a large, prominent, flattened keel
on either side of the caudal peduncle. It can be easily distinguished from
all other sharks by its teeth, which are like curved daggers with no cusps
at the base or serrations along the razor shark edges. The front surface
is flat and the teeth are curved inward. The back of the shortfin mako
is a brilliant blue gray or cobalt blue and the sides are light blue, changing
to snowy white on the belly including the lower jaw. The longfin mako is
also blue above with light blue sides, and is white below except for the
jaw. In life the mako's colors are the most strikingly beautiful of all
the mackerel sharks. After death the colors fade to grayish brown.
The mako is a known enemy of the broadbill swordfish. In one case a 730
lb (331 kg) mako was found to have swallowed a 120 lb (54 kg) swordfish
whole. It has been implicated in attacks on humans and is the undisputed
leader in attacks on boats. A hooked mako will unleash all its fury, reportedly
leaping as high as 30 ft (10 m) out of the water. It may roll, shake, dive,
and charge the boat. It has also been known to bite the boat and occasionally
to leap into it, causing severe injuries to the angler and wreaking havoc
in the cockpit.
Fishing methods include trolling with whole tuna, mullet, squid, mackerel,
or lures and also, chumming or live bait fishing with similar baits. Many
are hooked incidentally while trolling for marlins. The flesh is excellent
and said to be similar to swordfish.
The mackerel sharks (mako, white and porbeagle) are all ovoviviparous,
the eggs hatch inside the mother and the young are born alive