There are several records of Mako sharks with the broken blades of Xiphias gladius, the Gladiator of the sea, the swordfish, imbedded in their sides. Such wounds speak volumes of their predatory courage and capability to tackle even the most formidable of prey.
The Mako is also arguably one of the oceans most magnificently designed and decorated marine super predators. With a cobalt blue dorsal surface and silvery-white underbelly it is a very handsome shark. You would not be out of place imagining it entering through the front door at Casino de Monte Carlo and robbing it at gunpoint, whilst all the good looking woman embarrassingly picture themselves darting off with the villain and into the sunset.
In the water Makos are simply gorgeous animals. The sun reflects off their backs and their shape is akin to a jet fighter. For me, the only way to showcase this design is to get it highlighted by radiant shafts of light as if the shark were a formula one car being presented for the first time.
On this particular day, roughly 50km off the South Western tip of Africa in the Agulhas current we waited until the sun had begun to drop. This lower angle of the sun meant that assegais of light stabbed the water and all I had to do was wait for the Sundance Kid to arrive.
Nowadays makos are not easy to find. Once abundant, they are now scarce. Game fishing, long lining and bycatch have all taken a huge toll and it is indeed a great privilege when one of these piscine gunslingers swims into town.
Large: 173cm x 114cm (68” x 45”)
Standard: 118cm x 78cm (46.5” x 31”)
© Chris Fallows 2018