Blue sharks get their name from the beautiful blue colour of the skin on their back and sides. These sharks are extremely wide-ranging and can be found in both tropical and temperate seas, in waters between 7 and 16 degrees Celsius. They are also known for producing large litters of pups, between 4 and 135 pups at a time, with the number of pups determined by the size of the female. This species is usually found in deep waters, up to 350 metres and are considered a pelagic or blue water shark species. While out in the deep blue this species feeds mostly on fish species including cod, herring, hake and mackerel but have also been known to feed on whale carcasses and sea birds. As an opportunistic feeder these sharks have also been known to eat plastic and other marine pollution. These sharks can reach lengths up to 3.8 metres and over 200 kg in weight.
In South Africa these sharks can be found off Cape Point and during summer African Shark Eco-Charters has trips out to dive with these amazing animals. This species can often be found in groups based on their size and gender. This species of shark has been recorded to live as long as 20 years with males and females maturing at about 5 years of age. This species can often be found with another pelagic shark species, the shortfin mako, even though this species has been known to be an occasional predator of smaller blue sharks. The other main predator of blue sharks are great white sharks.
It is estimated that 10 to 20 million of these sharks die every year due to being caught as bycatch. They are also commonly fished for the use of their fins for shark fin soup. Besides blue and mako diving trips African Shark Eco-charters also does great white shark cage diving trips off Seal Island in False Bay. During these trips not only will you see white sharks and Cape fur seals but you could also see a variety of other species including common dolphins, humpback and southern right whales and if you are very lucky, killer whales.