Porbeagle Shark (Lamna nasus)

The porbeagle shark is a member of the mackerel shark family, as are the great white and the mako sharks, and bears a resemblance to both species.

The porbeagle has a robust, cobalt blue body with a perfectly conical snout that ends in a point. It is easily identified by its teeth, which are smooth and have little cusps on each side of the base. It often has a distinctive white area at the base portion of the first dorsal fin; this fin is farther forward than it is on mako or white sharks.

There is a large, particularly prominent, flattened keel on both sides of the caudal peduncle, and beneath that but farther back on the tail is a small secondary keel, which mako and white sharks also lack. Its anal fin is directly aligned with the second dorsal fin.

The flesh of the porbeagle is of good quality and texture and is said to taste something like swordfish. Excellent sportfish, porbeagles occur in colder waters than makos or whites, which may explain why they are not implicated in attacks on humans.

A widespread species, it exists in the western Atlantic from Newfoundland to New Jersey, although it rarely ventures south of New England and probably ranges from southern Brazil through Argentina.

Other Names

beaumaris shark, blue dog, bonito shark, herring shark, mackerel shark, porbeagle, salmon shark.