Shark ID Puzzle – Great White or Mako Shark landed in Long IslandHelmut Nickel, Shark Year Magazine,
03. July 2012
Did New York Anglers Mistakenly Kill a Protected Great White Shark ?
In early June, sportfishermen caught and killed what they believed to be a young mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) off the coast of the U.S. state of New York.
The boat returned to the marina, located in the vicinity of NYC on Long Island, to weigh the shark ( 138 lbs ) and to take the mandatory photo which is shown below.
But a closer look raises doubts about the correct identification of the shark. In my opinion, the specimen pictured here is more likely a juvenile great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias).
The fish in the photo shows the following species-distinctive features of a great white shark:
- the head is more massive and the snout is shorter (less pointed) than in the mako shark (for comparison: photo)
- black blotch in the axil of the pectoral fin (photo)
- position and shape of the first dorsal fin (photo)
According to local recreational fishing regulations, the possession of this shark species is not allowed. The law says that a person may fish for white sharks with rod and reel, provided the person releases such fish immediately with a minimum of injury and that such fish may not be removed from the water.