The porbeagle is a coastal and pelagic shark species found in the cold-temperate waters of the North Atlantic, as well as in the southern hemisphere. Like other members of the family Lamnidae, it is endothermic (warm-blooded), allowing it to maintain high activity levels in the cold waters of Atlantic Canada and the St. Lawrence.
The porbeagle is a member of the mackerel sharks, which includes the white shark, the mako, and the extinct megalodon. These sharks share the same general shape, which oftens leads to misidentification, especially when observed from a boat.
Contrary to recent news headlines associating the porbeagle’s presence with global warming, this shark has long been a regular visitor to the St. Lawrence Gulf and Estuary where it is frequently mistaken for the white shark or shortfin mako. All mackerel sharks are very fast swimmers capable of lightening bursts of speed¹. The porbeagle’s closest relative is its North Pacific cousin, the salmon shark (Lamna ditropis).