Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Shortfin Mako

shortfin mako shark
~Photo courtesy of NOAA~

Common Name(s): Mako shark, Shortfin mako
Scientific Name: Isurus oxyrinchus

Fun Facts:

  • Shortfin mako's are one of the fastest sharks in the ocean and can swim at speeds of about 30 mph. They have been recorded to swim in bursts of up to about 45 mph.
  • When hooked on a fishing line, the shortfin mako is known to make spectacular leaps out of the water.
  • Mako sharks give birth to live young, and females can deliver up to 18 baby sharks at once!

Where Are They Found?

The shortfin mako shark ranges from the Gulf of Maine all the way down to southern Brazil in western Atlantic waters. They are usually found offshore in the ocean, although they can occasionally make their way inshore.

How Big Can They Get?

Shortfin mako sharks have been reported to weigh as much as 1,200 pounds (545 kg), and grow between 9-13 feet (2.5-4 meters). The largest shortfin mako caught in New York waters was 1,080 pounds 0 ounces, and was caught in 1979.

What Do They Eat?

Mako's feed on fish, squid, and even other sharks. Like other sharks, mako's have very sharp teeth which they use to tear the flesh of the food they catch.

Recreational Fishing Information

Check the recreational size and catch limits for shortfin mako before you head out on your next fishing trip. Also, make sure you have a recreational marine fishing license, unless you are fishing onboard a fishing party/charter boat that is licensed by the DEC.

  • Important Links
  • Contact for this Page
  • Division of Marine Resources
    205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1
    East Setauket, New York 11733
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to NYS Marine Costal District