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Endangered Porbeagle Sharks

Updated on February 5, 2013

Officially listed as vulnerable on the IUCN list, Porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus) are endangered and are at increasing risk of being wiped out altogether thanks to overfishing and shark finning for the largely Asian shark fin soup delicacy.

Porbeagle sharks are very similar in looks to Shortfin mako sharks. Their distinguishing feature is a white patch on the end of their dorsal fin.They have been described as being half-way between a great white shark and a mako shark.

They can grow to 12' long, but are typically around the 8' mark, and live for 30-40 years.

This creature is very different from the mako shark in that is does not eat humans, even accidentally.In fact, it is a very shy shark, and will turn tail and run at the slightest water bubble created by humans.

However, when caught by anglers or hunters, it will fight to the bitter end, it's character under those conditions being described as similar to that of a pit bull terrier.

Porbeagle shark
Porbeagle shark | Source

Endangered Porbeagle sharks

Porbeagle sharks are an endangered species. They are being fished to extinction, either accidentally or on purpose.

It is seen as a game fish by anglers, and both its meat and fins are highly prized. Porbeagle shark meat sells at market for at least 4 times the price of any other shark meat.

The world will be a sadder place without them. Unlike other sharks, they must keep swimming in order to breathe. This has resulted in them learning to'play', like dolphins. It is not uncommon to find a group of them playing 'tag' in the water.

Porbeagle shark
Porbeagle shark | Source

Porbeagle shark diet

Their main diet consists of herring, mackerel, cod, haddock, squid and shellfish.


Porbeagles are another group who breed slowly. The gestation period for adult females (12 to 13 years old) is 8 - 9 months; the normal sized litter consist of 4 pups. The pups are typically 60 - 80 cms long at birth and are open to attack from other sea predators, resulting in comparatively few reaching adulthood.

Like a lot of shark species, Porbeagles have two uteruses and one ovary.

Porbeagle shark habitat

Because porbeagle sharks have the ability to raise their internal body temperature by up to 20F, they can live in colder waters, and as a result can be found in all the seas the world over, though their numbers have decreased sharply in recent years.

They live on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and it is widely reckoned their breeding ground is in the warmer waters of the Meditteranean, where their young are being fished to extinction, resulting in a world-wide crises for their species.

A 1995 directive by the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean, banning trawling depth greater than 100 metres, which has never been fully implemented, is unlikely to help this species who breed in water shallower than 100 metres.

This shark is now critically endangered. Only by the public taking an interest in this amazing creature can we save them from extinction.


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