A snorkeler off the coast of Cornwall recently suffered a minor bite to the leg from a blue shark while with the tour group, Blue Shark Snorkel. These cases are extremely rare but can happen even in the UK. The victim may leave the lifeboat, according to the BBCand stated that “I don’t for one second want this freak event to tarnish the reputation of an already hunted species.”
The blue shark may be the most abundant shark species on the globe, migrating to temperate and warmer waters throughout the year. If you are curious about the blue shark, here are some things you should know.
Sharks with a thin frame
Blue sharks get their name because they are blue. It is sometimes called great blue shark, they have a thin frame and a prominent conical muzzle. Their dorsal fin is located lower on the back, closer to the tail, and there are two long, curved pectoral fins on the sides of the body. They have large, bulbous eyes, but unlike most sharks, the blue shark does not spirals — small openings between the eye and the ear that aid in the ventilation of the gills.
Blue sharks are frequent migrants. They usually migrate north with ocean currents in the summer when the waters warm. In these waters they can find more abundant food sources. Blue sharks can use their pectoral fins to drift with the ocean currents and save energy. Some blue sharks will migrate nearly 6,000 miles each year.
They don’t mix often
In addition to food sources, blue sharks will travel long distances to find potential mates. Male sharks often bite female sharks during mating. Although they have thicker skin, females can still have bite marks. Mating season is probably the only time you will see adult male and female blue sharks together. A woman can have as many 135 smallalthough it is usually in the 15 to 30 range.
Apart from gender, they too divide into groups based on age and reproductive status. According to the Shark Research Institute: Juveniles, juveniles, mature sharks and pregnant females are usually found in different areas.
Open ocean preferences
Blue sharks are pelagic, meaning they live mostly in the open ocean, away from shore, shore, and bottom. Since they prefer temperate waters, you will most likely find sharks closer to the surface and usually no more than 1100 feet below the waves. However, they will have their young abroad. They feed mainly on pelagic fish (cod and herring), squid and sometimes seabirds.
Blue sharks often end up as bycatch from commercial fishing vessels. Although some are released back into the water, many die of shock and stress. Although their meat is not valuable in fish markets, their fins are. Poachers often remove the shark’s fins and throw the body back into the water. The shark fins they are then sold for shark fin soup or as decorative items for the home. Blue sharks are especially sought after because of their beautiful coloration.
Blue sharks, along with other marine life, are victims of overfishing and bycatch that have caused their numbers to decrease.