Are there sharks in Greece: 7 species you could find (2023)

Are there sharks in Greece? It may seem surprising to you, but there are actually several species of these terrifying creatures that live in the gentle waters surrounding this southern European country. Fortunately, it is very rare to see one, and even more likely to encounter onedangerous, so you don't have to worry about swimming during your vacation.

From ancient ruins scattered across a sun-drenched land to a shimmering coastline known for some of the best beaches in the world, whitewashed villages adorned with pink bougainvillea to delicious food served in bustling tavernas, Greece has a lot to offer. Millions of people take their summer holidays here every year, and most of them head straight to the coast.

While most people never get close to these aquatic creatures while enjoying the calm waters of the Aegean or Ionian Sea, that doesn't mean there aren't sharks lurking below the surface. This guide answers the question "are there sharks in Greece" by listing the seven species you can find in this corner of the Mediterranean...


Big white dog

Are there sharks in Greece: 7 species you could find (1)

Are there sharks in Greece to worry about? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. The most feared predator in the water,big white dog, is one of them. This sea beast is responsible for most shark attacks on humans around the world. Fortunately, none of these incidents have been confirmed to have occurred in Greek waters.

You can recognize the great white by its characteristic appearance. They are quite large and bulky sharks with slightly pointed snouts and a triangular dorsal fin. Their size usually ranges between 13-16 feet, but the females tend to outgrow the males. The great white's jaws are lined with rows of serrated teeth, their greatest weapon. You can also identify these sharks by their contrasting colors rather than their blending colors - their backs are dark gray but their bellies are white.

Great white sharks are one of the most dangerous marine predators in the world due to their aggressive nature and ability to inflict fatal injuries. However, the risk of seeing this terrifying creature while swimming in the seas of Greece is extremely low. The numbers of these sharks in the Mediterranean are declining, so there aren't many swimming around the Cyclades or Dodecanese. In fact, there have been no confirmed sightings of these beasts near the Hellenic land in recent years.

Shortfin mackerel shark

Are there sharks in Greece: 7 species you could find (2)

The shortfin mako shark is also known as bonito shark or even blue bird shark in some parts of the world. It mainly inhabits temperate and tropical coastal waters around the world, including the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas around Greece. However, the number of short-finned makos is declining in Europe due to overfishing, particularly in the Spanish part of the Mediterranean.

Short-finned makos are relatively large. They usually reach about 10 feet during adulthood, but sometimes they can grow even more! Their most characteristic feature is the head. They have very pointed snouts and jaws lined with long and pointed teeth. They are dark purple on top with silver sides and a white belly. They also have large, black eyes.

There have only been a few attacks on humans by makos in the world, so they are not considered very dangerous to humans. Due to their speed and strength, they can injure and even kill people, so try not to get too close to them. That said, you didsnorkelaround the Hydra or swimming in the warm waters of Crete, the chance of seeing a blue pointer is extremely small.

Common thresher shark

Are there sharks in Greece: 7 species you could find (3)

The common thresher, which some call the Atlantic thresher, is another type of shark that you can see in Greek waters. It is the largest flail, mainly because of its most characteristic feature: the elongated caudal fin, which takes up almost half the length of the fish's body!

The largest threshers can grow up to 20 feet long, but as we said before, a lot of it comes down to that long dorsal fin. Typically, adults grow no taller than 16 feet and weigh about 500 pounds. Their top is metallic brown and the underside is white. They have rounded snouts, small, triangular teeth and relatively large eyes.

These are not very confident sharks, so they usually swim away when approached. This means that they are not much of a threat to humans, especially since they have rather small teeth. Really, we are much more dangerous to them than they are to us. They are highly valued for their meat, liver oil and skin, making them a popular catch for commercial fishermen. They are also considered a prized fish for their fighting abilities and speed.

A spiky dog

Are there sharks in Greece: 7 species you could find (4)

The spurdog is a small benthic shark that lives in shallow and offshore waters in most European seas and oceans, including the Greek seas. It is actually one of the most likely sharks to see in the country, as they often come close to shore. But there's no need to panic if you see one - they're not dangerous at all.

These sharks are quite small and can only grow up to four feet in length. They have a gray back with distinctive white spots. Their bodies are slender and narrow, and their muzzles are slightly pointed. The name prickly dog ​​refers to the two venomous spikes on their bodies that are used in self-defense.

If you're wondering, "Are there sharks in Greece that you can eat?" then the answer is yes. One of them is a shark. It is often mentionedgaléosin Greek cuisine because it can be used as a substitute for more endangered speciesGaleorhinus galeus(school shark) in a popular seasonal dish.

A big shark

Are there sharks in Greece: 7 species you could find (5)

The basking shark is by far the largest specimen on this list. In fact, it is the second largest shark in the world, only smaller than the giant cetaceans. These huge sea creatures live in relatively shallow waters and often come very close to shore, so you may even catch a glimpse of them while soaking up the sun on one of Greece's beautiful beaches. Large sharks usually stay close to the surface where they monitor plankton concentrations.

Sharks are big big. The largest individuals can reach over 30 feet in length and weigh more than five tons. That is considerably larger than the average elephant! Their body shape resembles a large white, but you can easily tell them apart by their hollow jaw, which is used to pull small sea creatures out of the water. Their diet includes very small fish, zooplankton and invertebrates.

Seeing this huge sea creature will make your heart beat faster, but there is nothing to worry about as they are harmless to humans. It is possible to see large sharks all over Greece, from the northern parts of the Aegean Sea around Thessaloniki to the southern waters around Crete, but it is not very likely.

Blue shark

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Blue sharks are among the most common sharks in Greek waters. They are migratory sharks that inhabit almost all the seas and oceans of the world, inclusiveMediterranean. They prefer deep water, so you're unlikely to see them in shallow seas near beaches, although they sometimes come close to shore in search of prey. In fact, one of the newestsightings of blue sharksin Greece it happened right next to the popular tourist beach in Nafplio.

These are medium-sized requiem sharks that can reach a length of about 3 meters. They are quite tall and slender, so their weight rarely exceeds 300 kilograms. Their name refers to the dark blue color on their backs. It melts into a lighter shade on the side and white on the bottom.

Blue sharks are not very aggressive and most scientists do not consider them dangerous to humans. In fact, there have only been a handful of bite incidents worldwide involving this type of shark. Only four have proved fatal since records have been kept.

Smooth hammerhead

Are there sharks in Greece: 7 species you could find (7)

Hammerhead sharks are among the most unique looking fish thanks to their broad, hammer-like heads. The species you can find in the waters around Greece is the smooth hammerhead, the second largest in its family. Unlike other hammerhead sharks, they live in temperate seas at mid latitudes and often stay close to the surface.

You can recognize them by simply looking at their heads. They are flat and elongated on both sides, without the hollow in the middle, which is present in other hammerhead shark species. Their eyes are on either side of the "hammer". They usually measure about 8.5-11.5 feet, but can grow up to 16 feet.

Smooth hammerheads are potentially dangerous to humans, but attacks on humans are rare. Worldwide, there has only been one case of a fatal attack caused by this type of shark and about 30 non-fatal bite incidents. None of them happened in Greece.

Are there sharks in Greece - conclusion.

Are there sharks in Greece? Yes, they exist, but it's highly unlikely you'll see one. There aren't many of them and most don't pose a major threat to humans. However, it may be surprising to learn, but of the 19 shark attacks that have occurred in Greece, 14 have actually been fatal. Fortunately, most of these incidents took place in the last century, which means that statistics show that it is slightly safer to swim in the Aegean Sea today. In fact, you're more likely to see a shark on a plate in a tavern than on the beach!

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