Know your fish | Blue Shark

The blue shark is a surface-dwelling shark that prefers to live and hunt in the open sea. They will travel to inshore waters, but not close enough to be caught.

They migrate into waters surrounding the British Isles and Ireland during the summer, when the water temperature increases. They can be found, at this time of year, in most areas around our coast except in the southern North Sea – anywhere from East Anglia southwards.

It is abundant in and around the English Channel during the summertime – many charter boats can be hired from this area that specifically target these impressive species.

The maximum length of a blue shark is around the 12ft mark, with weights being up to 330lb, but the largest you are likely to encounter in our local waters will be around 9ft and 200lb.

Identification

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Blue shark are long and slender sharks that have long upper parts to the tail and very long and pointed pectoral fins.

The snout is long too, and quite pointed. Like all sharks, the mouth is under slung. Blue shark have five gill slits.

The blue shark’s many teeth are serrated and pointed.

Colouration is a very deep indigo across the shark’s back, fading into blue, then white along the belly.

Feeding

Blue shark feed upon fish, and a wide range too. They choose schooling fish like mackerel, herring and pilchards, but squid form a large part of their diet too.

The blue shark has been known to follow trawlers to feast upon discarded fish and offal.

Breeding

The blue shark gives birth to live young, but this happens very rarely in British waters.

Females will give birth to as many as 60 young shark.

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