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  • Writer's pictureScott Finch

Discovering the Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark

Shark week continues here at GO DIVING and we will be discovering the Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark: An amazing an rare shark in our waters.

Gran Canaria Mako Shark
Sharkweek Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark

As scuba divers, we are always on the lookout for exciting underwater experiences with the magnificent creatures inhabiting our oceans and during our shark week event, we can't help but marvel at the awe-inspiring Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), a rare and fascinating species gracing the Canarian waters. This extraordinary mackerel shark offers divers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, brimming with excitement and wonder. In this article, we delve into the captivating world of the Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark and explore its remarkable characteristics, behavior, and the best practices for encountering this apex predator responsibly.

An Introduction to the Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark

The Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark, also known as the Shortfin Mako or Blue Pointer, is undoubtedly one of the fastest-swimming sharks in the ocean. Belonging to the Lamnidae family, this species boasts a streamlined body designed for impressive speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour), making it a true marvel of the underwater world.

Canarian Mako Shark in the deep
Canarian Mako Shark

Identifying Characteristics

Divers can easily distinguish the Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark from other species due to its unique physical features:

-Coloration: With a stunning deep blue dorsal side and white ventral side, the Canarian Shortfin Mako exhibits remarkable camouflage, blending seamlessly with the surrounding oceanic hues.

-Body Shape: This mako shark flaunts a slender, elongated body adorned with a sharp, pointed snout and large, dark eyes, providing it with keen vision for efficient hunting.

-Fins: The Canarian Shortfin Mako's elongated and pointed pectoral fins, along with its crescent-shaped caudal fin (tail), enable powerful propulsion and swift maneuvers in the water.

-Teeth: Like all mako sharks, the Canarian Shortfin Mako's long, serrated teeth are perfectly adapted for grasping and slicing through its prey.

Distribution and Habitat

Found predominantly in subtropical and temperate waters, including the waters around the Canary Islands, the Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark presents a rare opportunity for divers to witness its majesty up close.

Offshore environments, where waters are warm and food is abundant, are favored by these sharks. Divers exploring the Canarian waters might spot them patrolling the edges of drop-offs, near underwater seamounts, or gracefully gliding through the open ocean.

Behavior and Diet

As apex predators, the Canarian Shortfin Mako Sharks play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of marine ecosystems. Their diet primarily consists of schooling fish such as tuna, mackerel, and bonito, as well as squid. With remarkable speed and agility, they are skilled hunters, often displaying impressive leaps out of the water while chasing prey.

Despite their powerful presence, encounters with Canarian Shortfin Makos are generally safe for humans. These curious creatures might investigate divers, but actual attacks are extremely rare.

Responsible Diving Practices

Ensuring a safe and respectful encounter with the Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark requires adhering to responsible diving practices:

-Respect their space: Observe these magnificent creatures from a safe distance, allowing them to move freely and naturally.

-Avoid feeding: Maintaining their natural behavior is essential; avoid any attempts to feed or lure them with bait.

-No touch policy: It's crucial never to touch or ride the sharks, maintaining a passive and non-threatening presence during encounters.

-Capture memories responsibly: Capture photographs and videos without using flash or causing any undue stress to the sharks.

-Report sightings: If you're lucky enough to encounter Canarian Shortfin Mako Sharks during your dive, sharing the information with local marine researchers or authorities can contribute to their conservation efforts.

In conclusion, encountering the Canarian Shortfin Mako Shark is an unforgettable experience for divers. Their incredible speed, elegant appearance, and crucial role in marine ecosystems make them true wonders of nature. By embracing responsible diving practices, we can protect and preserve these magnificent creatures for generations to come, ensuring that the underwater world continues to awe and inspire us. Happy diving!


GO DIVING co owner and instructor

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