Ottawa eyes protection measures for the porbeagle - 'Canada's shark'

It is stout but fast, a top predator affectionately called "Canada's shark."

But years of intense fishing left the porbeagle shark endangered, and the federal government is now considering protection measures.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada wrapped up a public survey last week on the potential impacts of listing the porbeagle under the Species at Risk Act.

The porbeagle is commonly found in Canada's North Atlantic waters because of its tolerance for cold, but the population has declined by up to 78 per cent since 1961 when the country opened a porbeagle fishery.

The fishery has been closed since 2013, but the sharks reproduce slowly, giving their population a long recovery time.

It has been officially endangered since 2004.