Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Blue Shark Prionace glauca


enlarge +

Blue Shark
credit: Shane Anderson.

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Carcharhinidae, Requiem Sharks view all from this family

Description Elongated and fusiform, narrowly rounded with long snout, round eyes, and nictitating membrane. Serrated teeth are long and triangular, broader and curved on top jaw, center tooth of top jaw very large. 5 short gill slits, last 2 over pectoral base. First dorsal fin low, its origin well behind pectoral fins; no ridge between dorsals; pectorals very long, narrow, slightly curved, pointed tips; tail base with small keel; tail asymmetric, well developed lower lobe, upper lobe notched under tip.

Back dark blue, flanks intense blue, white belly, dark colored tips of pectoral and anal fins.

Dimensions Up to 12'7" (3.8 m); 437 lbs (198 kg).

Warning Although it is not particularly aggressive, the Blue Shark often circles divers and has attacked on occasion.

Habitat Ocean or bay shallows, Open ocean.

Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Alaska.

Discussion Not considered an aggressive species and rarely attack humans. Are the most heavily fished sharks with an estimated 10-20 million killed each year. The flesh is edible, but not widely sought after; it is consumed fresh, dried, smoked and salted and diverted for fishmeal. The skin is used for leather, the fins for shark-fin soup and the liver for oil. Like most pelagic sharks, tend to fare poorly in captivity.