Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | February 8, 2012

Shark fishing

A regular fishing for Greenland sharks Microcephalus somniosus is going on here every winter and spring. The sharks are caught at depths between 80 and 200 m and very big hooks and big chunks of meat are used for bait.

Not a lot of them are caught, typically 10 – 40 in one season (personal observation)

The meat is absolute white and is used for dog food. Even if the meat is white a great deal of blood is found in the central part of the body. The pictures here show a shark caught on a longline set from a hole in the ice. The animal is around 3 m long. This hunter normally catches 3-5 of this size every winter in this fashion, and sometimes 1-2 on a longline set from a boat.

Finn Steffens with his dog team on his way to the long line. Sharks are fished on the ice traditionally with the help of dog sledge. Photo: P. Christensen

Is there a shark ... ? Photo: P. Christensen

A good catch - a 3 m long greenland shark. Photo: P. Christensen

The shark is cut into elongated chunks and packed on the sledge for the dogs to pull home. Photo: P. Christensen

At home Finn hangs the meat to dry. This makes excellent food for his dogs. Photo: P. Christensen

Research on this shark species started at Arctic Station last year where some animals where caught, tagged and put back in the sea again. Others that where dead when brought to the surface where biopsied. This project is expected to continue.