The Sharks

Here is information on the sharks implicated in unprovoked attacks on divers. For further information, see the Worldwide Shark Attack Summary.

Number of Sharks Involved in Attacks on Divers

Of 176 cases (N-176)

Last updated: May 28, 2013

Length of Sharks Involved in Attacks on Divers

The greatest percentage of attacks come from sharks that are between 5 and 11 feet in length. This is because the most common sharks in the waters where people dive are in this length range.

Of 131 cases (N=131)

Last updated: May 28, 2013

Species of Sharks Implicated in Attacks on Divers

Positive identification of attacking sharks is very difficult since victims rarely make adequate observations of the attacker during the "heat" of the interaction. White and tiger sharks are easy to identify and therefore are more commonly reported than other species. This table is skewed for these two readily identified species.

Of 120 cases (N=120)

Common NameScientific NameAttacks (#)Attacks (%)
White Carcharodon carcharias 47 39
Tiger Galeocerdo cuvier 11 9
Requiem Carcharhinus spp. 8 7
Blacktip Carcharhinus limbatus 5 4
Wobbegong Orectolobus sp. 6 5
Grey Reef Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos 5 4
Oceanic Whitetip Carcharhinus longimanus 5 4
Blue Prionace glauca 2 2
Bull Carcharhinus leucas 4 3
Sand Tiger Carcharias taurus 4 3
Nurse Ginglymostoma cirratum 3 3
Sandbar Carcharhinus plumbeus 2 2
Wobbegong Orectolobus maculatus 3 3
Blacktip Reef Carcharhinus melanopterus 2 2
Mako Isurus spp. 1 1
Porbeagle Lamna nasus 1 1
Broadnose Sevengill Notorhynchus cepedianus 2 2
Shortfin Mako Isurus oxyrinchus 2 2
Caribbean Reef Carcharhinus perezi 3 3
Bronze Whaler Carcharhinus brachyurus 1 1
Lemon Negaprion brevirostris 1 1
Leopard Triakis semifasciata 1 1
Tope Galeorhinus galeus 1 1

© International Shark Attack File
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida