Blue Shark | Oceana Canada

Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia

Blue Shark

Prionace glauca

Also known as

Blue dogs, blue pointers, great blue sharks

Distribution

Global oceans; tropical to cold temperate

Ecosystem/Habitat

Pelagic/open ocean

Feeding Habits

Active predator

Conservation Status

Special concern/data deficient

Taxonomy

Order Carcharhiniformes (ground sharks), Family Carcharhinidae (requiem sharks)

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Blue sharks get their name from their beautiful blue colour. They have distinct indigo blue on their backs, vibrant sapphire blue along their sides and white underbellies. This species is one of the most widespread and easily recognizable sharks. Because of their inquisitive nature and need to gently investigate everything and anything that crosses their path, they have earned the nickname “blue dogs” or “puppies of the sea.” 

Blue sharks spend most of their lives in groups based on sex, with males and females living in different areas until they migrate to breed and feed on congregations of prey species. Adults become sexually mature when they reach two to three meters long, which typically occurs around four to six years of age. 

After breeding, the female will go through a gestation period of nine to twelve months. They give birth to litters that range in size from 25 to 50 pups. The number of pups a female can give birth to depends on her size, with larger older females having more pups than smaller, younger ones. Blue sharks feed mainly on schooling fish, such as herring, hakes and squid, but they are also known to feed on carcasses of whales, other marine mammals and sea turtles.