An Overview Of Short-Finned Mako Sharks That May Be Found In the Waters Around Cozumel
By Tom Seest
At TopCozumelNews, we help Cozumel tourists plan their trips and activities using information collected on trips to the beautiful island.
I’m no expert on sharks, but I know enough to stay out of their way. I’ve seen Jaws, and that was enough for me. I’m not sure what kind of waters sharks are drawn to, but I’m guessing it’s not the kind of water I want to be in. I’m more of a pool shark, myself.
I know that sharks are predators, and they’re not afraid to eat people. But I also know that they’re not mindless killing machines. They’re just animals trying to survive. So I try to give them the respect they deserve, even if I’m a little bit scared of them.
If I ever find myself in the ocean, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for sharks. But I’m not going to let them ruin my enjoyment of the water. I’m just going to be careful and hope that they’re careful too.
Cozumel draws divers from around the globe for its clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, home to numerous invertebrate species as part of Mesoamerican Barrier Reef ecosystem. Furthermore, this area features various fish species (including sharks) which make this diving destination unmissable!
At many dive sites in and around Cozumel, it is possible to encounter scalloped hammerhead sharks – large predators who specialize in hunting stingrays in shallow, warm waters – frequently. These large creatures spend much of their time cruising along sandy and rocky bottoms scouring for prey such as these sharks.
Table Of Contents
- Are Short-Finned Mako Sharks Found Around Cozumel?
- What Do Short-Finned Mako Sharks Look Like Around Cozumel?
- How Big Do Short-Finned Mako Sharks Get Around Cozumel?
- What Is The Habitat Of Short-Finned Mako Sharks Around Cozumel?
- Do Short-Finned Mako Sharks Attack Humans Around Cozumel?
- How to Respond to Short-Finned Mako Sharks Attacks Around Cozumel?
- Are There Tips For People That Encounter Short-Finned Mako Sharks Near Cozumel?
Cozumel’s waters offer many species of marine wildlife to observe. From majestic spotted eagle rays skimming the surface for food to small vibrantly-patterned yellow stingrays that might appear out of nowhere and bull sharks (though these rarely attack humans), to even potential sightings of sharks in estuaries or coastal regions, you could encounter many marine animals while swimming near Cozumel.
On a dive in Cozumel National Park or throughout the Mesoamerican barrier reef chain, divers will likely come across Atlantic nurse sharks – typically considered non-dangerous predatory fish that you can safely swim alongside (though professional advice should always be sought before diving alone).
From time to time, black-tip reef sharks may appear at certain dive sites within Cozumel National Park and across the wider Mesoamerican barrier reef chain. Although considered dangerous to corals, these sharks usually avoid human divers as they prefer feeding on larger fish and marine mammals instead.
On our dives, the Requiem Shark can often be seen. This small pelagic shark typically inhabits ocean waters yet can be seen almost anywhere around the planet due to its highly migratory lifestyle and proximity to human fishing vessels. Unfortunately, its numbers have decreased drastically, and is now considered vulnerable species.
Short-finned mako sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus) are a subspecies of great white sharks found throughout the oceans worldwide, often living alongside them as fellow predators. Known for their speed and power, these top predators frequently leap out of the water in order to conserve metabolic energy by leaping clear of its depths to conserve metabolic energy. Their distinctive appearance includes their long slender bodies with powerful caudal fins semicircular in structure as well as unbelievably sharp teeth – which make these sharks stand apart from their counterparts among peers.
These fish are highly migratory. At speeds of 68 km/h (42 mph), they can achieve burst swimming speeds and jump from the water at heights exceeding six meters (20 feet).
Female mako sharks reproduce through an ovoviviparity process similar to some mammals, giving birth to live pups from egg capsules within their mother’s uterus. Alongside eating tuna and billfish, mako sharks also enjoy snacking on bony fishes, squids, dolphins, porpoises, sea turtles, as well as dead organic matter.
Due to makos being such highly mobile animals, fishing for them is heavily regulated. Permits and logbooks must be kept as evidence of catch, while at-sea observers are required to accompany commercial drift gillnet vessels to monitor catch rates, bycatch rates, and effort levels – measures that help minimize protected species capture risks and maximize fishing effort efficiency. Despite all of this regulation, however, mako sharks remain popular targets among sports fishermen; when hooked, they can prove fierce opponents that can damage boats or injure humans due to being provoked or being caught at the end of a line.
Mako sharks are one of the world’s largest predatory fish species. Reaching 12 feet long and 1200 pounds in weight, these fast swimmers reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour while known for their incredible leaping abilities when hunting. Female mako sharks can reproduce early, usually between 5-9 years. In contrast, males typically reach maturity between 18-21 years.
Mako sharks rely on the internal fertilization of eggs, then carrying the fertilized embryos until the term in their uteri – this remarkable process is known as ovoviviparity. Once gestation has finished, females give birth to up to 25 live offspring at once!
The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), commonly referred to as the blue pointer mako or sharp-nosed mackerel shark, is one of two large mackerel shark species belonging to the Isurus genus and found throughout tropical and temperate oceans worldwide. Mako sharks can be identified by their sleek bodies with pointed snouts, crescent-shaped tails, and long slender teeth as well as dark blue-to-indigo dorsal surfaces compared with silvery white ventral surfaces, making them easy-to-identification once out hunting fast-swimming predatory fish like tuna billfish or swordfish.
Shortfin mako sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus) are pelagic (open ocean) fish that can grow to over twelve feet long and weigh 130-300 pounds. Common in warm and temperate seas worldwide, this shark prefers open waters and rarely ventures near coral reefs.
As other apex predators do, makos prey on tuna, billfish, squid, dolphins and porpoises, bonito, sea turtles and other sharks. Unfortunately, due to overfishing and incidental capture in longline fisheries targeting swordfish or other species, they are listed as endangered by IUCN and considered vulnerable.
As highly mobile species, makos present unique management challenges. Their range extends across international boundaries and they are fished by numerous nations. Both the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission have passed measures to combat shark finning while encouraging increased research efforts as well as periodic stock assessments for this important marine predator.
However, shortfin mako shark populations continue to decrease despite these efforts, prompting the Center for Biological Diversity to file a legal petition today to secure protections for both shortfin mako sharks and warty sea cucumbers under Mexico’s Standard NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 list of threatened species.
Shortfin mako sharks are pelagic (open ocean) species. Thus, they rarely venture into shallow coastal waters; even when they do come close, humans usually don’t make the cut as prey. Instead, Makos feed on oily and energy-rich fish such as Bluefish and Mackerel as well as bony fish, squid, shellfish, and even bony fish such as Squid for sustenance. Although makos possess powerful bites, they most often only use them to grab their prey – their attack rates remain quite low, with only one mako being a fatal hit per 100 seconds on average!
Mako sharks possess one of the largest brains relative to body size among marine predators, making them highly adaptable. With such an enormous brain-per-body size ratio, mako sharks can quickly adapt and learn about their surroundings, even distinguishing between non-threatening humans and other sharks, sometimes even permitting us to touch or feed them.
Although these mako sharks possess impressive intelligence, their global population remains endangered due to slow growth rates, late maturation periods, and long gestation periods that leave them especially susceptible to overfishing. Project AWARE and its Shark League coalition partners successfully proposed that Atlantic shortfin makos be placed under a two-year trade ban during ICCAT meetings; this critical safeguard measure ensures CITES officials take scientific advice into account when managing mako populations.
No matter where you dive, discovering spectacular marine animals like shortfin mako sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus) is always a treat – whether in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef or other dive sites around Cozumel. Renowned for their stunning leaping ability, shortfin mako sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus) are known as one of the fastest-moving predators in the ocean, reaching speeds up to 45 miles per hour!
These pelagic sharks can be found worldwide in warm and temperate waters. They are well-adapted and active pelagic species with an elevated metabolic rate that enables them to maintain body temperatures warmer than their surroundings; additionally, their efficient heat exchange circulatory system enables them to sustain speeds up to 35 kph with occasional bursts reaching 80 kph (a record speed for these sharks).
Shortfin mako are well known for their striking coloring, with deep purple or indigo dorsal surfaces fading gradually into lighter sides and white below, while their mouth, snout, and underside remain shaded.
Makos are top predators with few natural enemies; though juveniles may be consumed by larger sharks or cannibalistic adults. Unfortunately, mako sharks are susceptible to fishing pressure from commercial fishing boats that capture makos for use in sushi production; this poses serious conservation concerns that PADI AWARE works closely with Shark League to address. Consequently, PADI AWARE and Shark League have collaborated together in mobilizing PADI Dive Centers, Resorts, and Professionals from countries affected by such activities to conserve this species through joint efforts between PADI Dive Centers Resorts and Professionals working alongside these businesses and professionals from countries affected by such overfishing efforts exploitation by using PADI Dive Centers Resorts or professionals to aid conservation of mako shark populations that exploiting practices by exploiting these precious resources for this work. PADI AWARE and Shark League work together with them both teams to promote conservation through mobilization of PADI Dive Centers Resorts Resorts or Professionals from countries affected by such practices through working alongside Shark League’s efforts at conserving mako shark populations by mobilizing PADI Dive Centers Resorts Professionals across these affected nations to promote conservation through mobilization of PADI Dive Centers Resorts or Professionals working alongside Shark League’s efforts by mobilizing PADI Dive Centers Resorts or Professionals located throughout these exploiting exploiting activities by mobilizing PADI Dive Centers Resorts or Professionals involved with Shark League has joined forces in order to protect mako conservation efforts through mobilizing PADI Dive Centers Resorts/Leaf as part of exploitation in turn mobilizing PADI Dive Centers Resorts Resorts/ Resorts/Professionals across these affected countries using PADI Dive Centers/ Resorts/Pros within countries to mobilizing PADI Centers/Resorts/Pros in these affected nations affected. PADI/Pros.
Sure, here’s a list of tips for individuals who might encounter Short-Finned Mako Sharks:
- Stay Calm: If you spot a blacktip shark, try to stay as calm as possible. Rapid movement or panic can attract the shark’s attention.
- Maintain Visibility: Always keep the shark in your field of view. If you can see the shark, you can predict its movements and react accordingly.
- Don’t Corner the Shark: Short-Finned Mako Sharks, like most wild animals, are more likely to act defensively if they feel trapped. Make sure the shark has a clear escape route.
- Avoid High-Risk Areas and Times: Short-Finned Mako Sharks are more active in the twilight hours (dawn and dusk) and in areas where their prey congregates. Avoid swimming during these times and in these areas if possible.
- Do Not Touch or Tease: Never attempt to touch, ride, or tease a shark. Not only is it dangerous, but it also contributes to the negative human impact on marine life.
- Bleeding or Open Wounds: Stay out of the water if you are bleeding or have an open wound. Sharks have a highly developed sense of smell and can detect blood from far away.
- Avoid Splashing: Try to keep your movements in the water as smooth and quiet as possible. Excessive splashing can mimic the movements of a wounded animal, which may attract sharks.
- Swim in Groups: Sharks are less likely to approach people if they are in a group rather than alone.
- Respect the Wildlife: Remember, when you enter the ocean, you are entering the home of countless marine species. Treat all sea life with respect and observe from a distance.
- Get Informed: Before you enter the ocean, get information about the presence and behavior of Short-Finned Mako Sharks in the area. Local guides or authorities can provide valuable advice.
Always remember that shark attacks are extremely rare. Sharks are often misunderstood creatures that play a vital role in the ecosystem. Learning about them can help reduce fear and promote coexistence.
I’m not an expert on sharks, but I’ve done my research. I know that they’re apex predators, and they can be dangerous. But I also know that they’re not always looking to attack people. In fact, most shark attacks are caused by mistaken identity.
So, while I’m not going to go swimming with sharks any time soon, I’m not going to let my fear of them control my life. I’m going to enjoy the ocean and just be aware of my surroundings.
And if I do see a shark, I’m going to remember that they’re just animals, and they’re not out to get me. I’m going to stay calm and try to make myself look as big as possible. And if all else fails, I’m going to swim like a madman.
Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may visit Cozumel.