Mako Shark Distribution and Migration

Spring - Summer - Fall - Winter
Distribution Map

Mako sharks also demonstrate migratory behaviors. Shortfin mako sharks have a fairly narrow preferred temperature range of approximately 17 - 22° C (62.6 -71.6° F). The mako is probably the most graceful of all sharks. It is beautifully proportioned, fast, strikingly colored, a spectacular game fish, and one of the meanest-looking animals on earth. The mako is one of the so-called "supersharks." It is steely blue in color with a long pointed snout and curved, dagger-like teeth. It is powerful, aggressive, and tremendously strong. It is believed to be the fastest of all the sharks and definitely holds the record for both long distance travel and for spectacular leaps out of the water. The shortfin mako has even been known to attack boats, particularly if it has been hooked by a fisherman. They are distributed world-wide throughout the tropical and temperate zones of the world's oceans, and is commonly found well off-shore in deeper waters.

Shortfin makos migrate seasonally and have been studied heavily in the North Atlantic. From June to October shortfin makos are found between Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras, with a large number being found off southern New Jersey and New York in the month of June. Here, water temperatures are much cooler than in the south, and some may move even further north as high as the Grand Banks. This entire area -- from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras -- may be the primary feeding grounds for a large part of the juvenile population of shortfin mako sharks in the North Atlantic. During late fall and early winter, November-December, makos move south from the area between Cape Hatteras ad the Grand Banks to offshore wintering grounds in the Gulf Stream and the Sargasso Sea.

Learn about the tools used to tag sharks.
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Try to predict where Mako sharks will be and try to tag one.