Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

porbeagle or porbeagle shark, Lamna nasus, ranges in the E. Atlantic from the Murman coast south to Africa and (less frequently) the Mediterranean. On the American side of the Atlantic, where it is also known as the mackerel shark, it can be found from the Gulf of St Lawrence down to S. Carolina.

The maximum length of this shark is 3 m (120"). The flesh is of high quality and is particularly esteemed in Germany, where much of the European catch ends up. It is also appreciated in Galicia. There is little demand for it in N. America, and it is not rated highly by sport fishermen since its resistance is feeble (although the British naturalist Couch reported one surprising incident, when a porbeagle which had been caught leaped at the fisherman and succeeded in tearing his clothes). Sport fishermen have more interest in a close relation Isurus oxyrhincus, the mako, or sharp-nosed mackerel shark, a vigorous opponent and one whose flesh is comparable with that of the porbeagle.