Blue Shark | Oceana Canada

Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia

Blue Shark

Prionace glauca

Also known as

Blue dogs, blue pointers, great blue sharks


Global oceans; tropical to cold temperate


Pelagic/open ocean

Feeding Habits

Active predator

Conservation Status

Special concern/data deficient


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.” 

In 2006, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) listed blue sharks found in Atlantic Canadian waters as Special Concern, and those found in Pacific Canadian waters as Data Deficient. They are a widespread and fairly productive shark, allowing them to recover relatively easy from population declines compared to some other shark species. There is some evidence indicating blue shark populations are declining in Atlantic Canada and more research is needed to access Pacific coast populations. 

Oceana Canada is working to protect Canada’s oceans for species like the blue shark. Find out more about our campaigns and join us in helping to bring abundance back to the ocean.