Shortfin mako (Bottlenose shark)

Isurus oxyrinchus

They use their powerful tail to leap out of the water!

Shortfin mako © Patrick Doll
Shortfin mako © Patrick Doll

Shortfin mako has two dorsal fins (but the second one is tiny), five pairs of gill slits and a dark blue colouration. Its pointy - sharp snout and powerful tail makes it the fastest shark in the ocean, while its large black eyes make it a powerful hunter.

Unfortunately as it is the case with most sharks, shortfin mako populations are decreasing all over the world because it is the most valued shark meat for human consumption. At Tristan it is seldomly caught and now protected under the  Marine Protection Zone.

Females only start reproducing when they are between 18-21 years old. They have one of the longest gestation periods 15-18 months giving birth to 4-25 pups that are more than 60cm long. After all this work females take a year to rest, so only producing young every 3 years.

IUCN/ Conservation Status — Endangered

Length —  Maximum of 445cm but commonly around 285cm

Weight – More than 500kg

Life span — Up to 32 years

Reproduction —Only reproduces every three years.

Sightings around Tristan islands – Mainly oceanic seen in the water column in areas of 150m deep.

Marine life on Tristan

The waters surrounding the Tristan islands are home to a diverse range of fish and invertebrates, including the commercially valuable crayfish.