Are There Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea?

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Are There Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea

Are there sharks in the Mediterranean Sea? Many people, including divers and tourists, wonder about this.

The TravelCroc team is here to help, whether you want to stay away from sharks or are excited about going in a shark cage as an adventure to check off your bucket list!

Today, we will get to know are there sharks in the mediterranean sea and explore the amazing world of sharks in the Mediterranean Sea and what you might see during your vacation there.

Are There Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea?

Yes, there are sharks in the Mediterranean Sea, but most of them do not pose a threat to people. There are about 47 different kinds of sharks here.

The Mediterranean Sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean and other oceans through the Straits of Gibraltar, so it is possible to find almost any type of shark here. However, only the ones that like the warm Mediterranean waters live here.

Out of the 15 shark species you might find here, most of them are not a problem for swimmers. The ones that could be troublesome are usually in areas where tourists do not go.

Sharks are very important for the ocean’s balance, but they are often misunderstood. Many shark species are not harmful at all. Unfortunately, they are at risk because of fishing and the tourism industry. This is bad news for nature lovers like us.

That is why we are exploring these crucial and fascinating ocean predators today.

We want to find out how we can stay safe and protect the marine environments we love while still having fun in the sea.

Types of Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea

There are over 50 species of sharks that can be found in the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the most common species include:

Blue shark (Prionace glauca)

Blue sharks are the most common species of shark in the Mediterranean Sea. They are pelagic sharks, meaning they live in the open ocean. Blue sharks are slender and streamlined, with a blue back and white belly. They can grow up to 13 feet long.

Shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus)

Shortfin mako sharks are the fastest sharks in the world. They can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Shortfin mako sharks are also pelagic sharks, and they can be found in all the oceans of the world. They are blue-grey on top and white on the bottom. Shortfin mako sharks can grow up to 12 feet long.

Blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus)

Blacktip sharks are coastal sharks, meaning they live near the shore. They are common in the Mediterranean Sea, and they can be found in shallow waters, such as bays and estuaries. Blacktip sharks are grey on top and white on the bottom, with black tips on their fins. 

They can grow up to 6 feet long.

Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna spp.)

Hammerhead sharks are known for their distinctive hammer-shaped heads. Several species of hammerhead sharks can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, including the scalloped hammerhead shark, the smooth hammerhead shark, and the great hammerhead shark. 

Hammerhead sharks are pelagic sharks, and they can grow up to 20 feet long.

Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

Great white sharks are the largest predatory fish in the world. They are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain. Great white sharks are rarely seen in the Mediterranean Sea, but they have been known to migrate into the region from other parts of the world. Great white sharks can grow up to 20 feet long.

Catsharks 

They do not resemble typical sharks. They are quite small and look more like cute creatures!

These catsharks are about 3 feet long, and their fins are not at the front but far back, making them seem more like big fish. When you go diving, seeing them is a great and completely safe experience.

In the Mediterranean Sea, there are three types of catsharks, but two of them, the black-mouth catshark and the Atlantic catshark, live very deep underwater, so most swimmers and even divers will not come across them.

Spinner Shark

Some people mix up Spinners with Blacktip sharks because they both like warm, shallow water.

Should we be afraid of them? Not really.

When Spinners swim quickly in a twisting way, it might seem like they are charging, which is why they got their name. However, they hardly ever do this to humans.

They do not see us as food. The only time there is a problem is when spearfishing people have tasty fish, and the sharks want to snack on them. We all like snacks, don’t we?

Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus)

Basking sharks are the second largest fish in the world. They are filter feeders and eat plankton. Basking sharks are rarely seen in the Mediterranean Sea, but they have been known to migrate into the region from other parts of the world.

Thresher shark (Alopias)

Thresher sharks are pelagic sharks that are known for their long, whip-like tails. They use their tails to stun and disorient prey before they eat them. Thresher sharks are opportunistic feeders and eat a variety of prey, including fish, squid, and seabirds.

Catshark (Scyliorhinus)

Catsharks are small, demersal sharks that live on the bottom of the ocean. They are common in the Mediterranean Sea, and they can be found in a variety of habitats, including rocky reefs, seagrass beds, and muddy bottoms. Catsharks are opportunistic feeders and eat a variety of prey, including fish, squid, and crustaceans.

Dogfish (Squalus)

Dogfish are small, deepwater sharks that are common in the Mediterranean Sea. They are opportunistic feeders and eat a variety of prey, including fish, squid, and crustaceans.

Sixgill shark (Hexanchus)

Sixgill sharks are deepwater sharks that are known for their six pairs of gills. They are opportunistic feeders and eat a variety of prey, including fish, marine mammals, and seabirds.

Angelshark (Squatina)

Angelsharks are flat sharks that live on the bottom of the ocean. They are ambush predators and use their camouflage to blend in with the seabed. Angelsharks are opportunistic feeders and eat a variety of prey, including fish, squid, and crustaceans.

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Other Sharks in the Mediterranean

Other species of sharks that can be found in the Mediterranean Sea include:

  • Sand tiger shark
  • Basking shark
  • Thresher shark
  • Catshark
  • Dogfish
  • Sixgill shark
  • Angelshark

Where Sharks Are Found in the Mediterranean Sea?

Sharks live in the Mediterranean Sea, but they do not live everywhere in the same way.

In this part, we will talk about where you can find sharks in the Mediterranean Sea and where they are in different countries.

Spain and Italy

Spain and Italy have really long coastlines along the Mediterranean Sea, and people in these countries have seen sharks in the sea.

The kinds of sharks you often see in these places are the blue shark, the shortfin mako, and the sandbar shark.

There is a place called the Strait of Gibraltar, which is between Spain and Morocco. It is like a highway for some sharks to move around, including the great white shark and the hammerhead shark.

Greece and Malta

Greece and Malta are also on the Mediterranean Sea, and they have seen different kinds of sharks.

The sharks you often see in these places are the blue shark, the shortfin mako, and the thresher shark.

Between Greece and Italy, there is a sea called the Ionian Sea. It is like a home for some sharks, including the sandbar shark and the smooth hammerhead shark.

France and Croatia:

France and Croatia have coasts along the Mediterranean Sea, but people do not know as much about the sharks there.

The sharks you might spot in these countries are the blue shark, the shortfin mako, and the porbeagle shark.

There is a sea called the Adriatic Sea, between Italy and Croatia, where you can find some sharks too, like the sandbar shark and the smooth hammerhead shark.

Turkey and Cyprus:

Turkey and Cyprus are in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, and they have seen various types of sharks.

The sharks you usually see in these places are the blue shark, the shortfin mako, and the sandbar shark.

There is a sea called the Black Sea, which is between Turkey and Bulgaria. Some sharks, like the sandbar shark and the blacktip shark, like to hang out there.

Effect on the Environment:

Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea are very important for keeping the ecosystem healthy. They are like the bosses of the sea because they help control the numbers of the animals they eat, which has a big impact on the whole food chain.

When we lose these big sharks from the Mediterranean Sea, it messes up the environment a lot.

Studies have found that when we take sharks out of the sea, it can cause big changes in the way the ecosystem works.

For example, when we do not have enough sharks, the animals they usually eat multiply too much. This means fewer smaller fish and tiny sea creatures because the prey animals eat them.

This change affects the whole environment and messes up the balance.

Besides controlling their prey, sharks also help keep other sea animals in check. They make sure there are not too many seals and dolphins, which can also affect the environment a lot.

The loss of big, hunting sharks is a big problem, especially in the not-so-deep parts of the Mediterranean Sea. They are really important for keeping the environment balanced there.

However, it is not just the shallow waters that are affected. Sharks also help control the number of sea creatures in the open sea and on the seabed.

The Mediterranean Sea is a salty sea with a kind of mild climate, and losing these sharks has hurt the whole environment a lot.

Some Questions

How many shark species are there in the Mediterranean Sea?

There are 47 shark species inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea.

What are the main threats to sharks in the Mediterranean Sea?

The main threats to sharks in the Mediterranean Sea include:

  • Overfishing
  • Habitat loss and degradation
  • Pollution
  • Finning

Are there sharks in the Mediterranean Sea and do they attack?

Shark attacks are very rare in the Mediterranean Sea. There have been fewer than 100 recorded shark attacks in the Mediterranean Sea over the past century, and only a handful of these attacks have been fatal.