Published On: Mon, Dec 8th, 2014

Porbeagle Shark – Lamna nasus – a warm blooded shark

Porbeagle shark line artPorbeagle Shark

The porbeagle shark, like the mako and the great white shark, is a member of the Lamnidae family (mackerel sharks) of warm blooded sharks. They are able to maintain their body temperature around 10 degrees C higher than the surrounding water temperature. This higher core temperature makes it possible for them to swim faster, and maintain higher speeds for longer. This extra speed is a considerable advantage when hunting other fish and sharks as prey.

This particular shark prefers cool temperate waters ranging between 4 and 16 deg C, this being a cooler range than the mako and the great white. It is found in the North Atlantic, from South Carolina to Newfoundland , and from North Africa to Norway and Iceland . It is also found in the Mediterranean , as well as the temperate cool waters of the Southern Pacific. It follows migrating fish such as mackerel, cod, and bonito tuna. It also eats flounder, dogfish, hake and other species that are eaten much less by the mako and white shark.The porbeagle shark is perhaps less known than the mako and great white but is nonetheless regarded as a strong fighter when taken on rod and line. Like the mako it is also known to jump on occasion when hooked. It is recognized by the International Game Fish Association as a game fish.

Successful fishing methods are similar to the mako shark. The porbeagle will take both trolled lures and live or dead fish baits particularly when fished in a berley trail.

The porbeagle, mako and great white are all quite similar in their outward appearance. They are round bodied, powerful, strong swimming sharks. However there are a number of subtle differences by which the observer can tell them apart these species apart.

The porbeagle has an upper tail lobe slightly larger than the lower. The porbeagle can easily be distinguished from the mako and the great white by its teeth which are smooth and have little cusps on each side at the base. The porbeagle shark also has a small secondary keel missing from the mako and great whites. This second keel is located beneath the main keel further back on the tail. The first dorsal fin is also further forward than on the mako or the great white.

The porbeagle’s anal fin is directly beneath the second dorsal fin, whereas the makos anal fin starts near the mid-point of the second dorsal fin. The anal fin of the great white shark starts near the end of or behind the second dorsal fin.

The colouration of the porbeagle differs only slightly. The back is blue-grey or brown, fading down to the belly, which tends to be off white.

The porbeagle is a pelagic ocean going shark. It does occasional come close to shore. There have been examples of porbeagles being caught in nets in Otago Harbour.

David H. Graham in A Treasury of New Zealand Fishes describes the stomach contents of probeagle sharks caught at North Reef, off the Otago coast, contained squid, groper, whiptail, Javelin-fish, and tope shark, while those caught by trawlers and examined had been devouring pilchards, mackerel, small smoothounds (sharks), and small spiny dogfish.

Porbeagle shark is reportedly good to eat with the flesh being much like that of swordfish.

Porbeagle Shark IGFA Current  All Tackle Record is 507 lbs. 0 ounces.

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