Sharks in Iceland

Iceland is home to one of the longest-living shark species – the Greenland Shark. This shark’s meat is used in preparing the national dish of Iceland known as kæstur hákarl. However, other species of shark have also been spotted there, including the basking shark, the Porbeagle shark, and the school shark.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in Iceland

Species Maximum


Basking Shark 23-30 feet Not aggressive
Greenland Shark 7.9–14.1 feet Not aggressive
Porbeagle Shark 6-12 feet Not aggressive
School Shark 6-7 feet Not aggressive
Smooth Hammerhead Shark 8-12 feet Not aggressive (but are potentially dangerous)
Spiny Dogfish 2.5-3.5 feet Not aggressive (due to their small size)



There have been no reported incidents through a Greenland shark that was once captured with a human leg inside.


Iceland heavily depends on fishing, with several species like the Greenland shark, the Porbeagle, and several species of dogfish being fished there. These actions place these sharks at risk.


There are places where tours are arranged where one can go diving with basking sharks.


Great whites prefer coastal waters and, as such, cannot tolerate the cold waters of the Arctic.

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